Researchers are continually working to tailor chemotherapy drugs to attack specific tumors, which provide a highly effective treatment with fewer side effects and less impact on healthy organs and tissues.
Types of chemotherapy available at The Cancer Center of Southeast Texas
- Traditional Chemotherapy
- Hormonal Modulation Therapy
- Angiogenesis Inhibitors
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy uses medications to destroy cancer cells, control their growth, or relieve pain symptoms. Every patient undergoing treatment with chemotherapy receives a very specific and individualized treatment regimen. Those chemotherapy regimens may involve one drug, or a combination of two or more drugs, depending on the type of cancer and its rate of progression. Often times, chemotherapy is used in combination with other treatments such as surgery or radiation, to optimize the outcomes of cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy is administered in three ways:
- Intravenous (IV) is by far the most common method. A needle is inserted into a vein, via mediport, PICC line or peripheral IV, and attached with tubing to a plastic bag holding the chemotherapy drugs. The needle is taken out at the end of each treatment. IV bags are attached to a tall metal stand with wheels, providing some mobility. Some patients wear a small pump outside the body, with minimal interference to their normal routine.
- Oral chemotherapy drugs are taken by mouth, either in pill or liquid form.
- Injections are administered into the muscle or under the skin, depending on the type or location of the drug.
Side effects vary from patient to patient and with the type of chemotherapy drugs used. The good news is that there are therapies to help you cope with some side effects, and lost hair does grow back, although sometimes in a different color or texture. The most common side effects of chemotherapy include:
- Hair loss, often temporary
- Increased risk of infection
- Increased sun sensitivity
- Numbness or weakness in the hands and feet (Neuropathy)
At the Cancer Center of Southeast Texas we strive to help enable our patients to go on with a normal everyday routine while undergoing treatments. We help facilitate this by providing a specially trained nurse practitioner available to assess and help manage the multiple side effects related to treatments. Our nurse practitioner is available during business hours to see walk-in patients who need immediate attention.