Chemo 101: Understanding Chemotherapy

home care chemo

home care chemoIf you or a loved one is battling cancer, then chemotherapy may be the suggested treatment by doctors. You and your loved one will most likely have a lot of questions and concerns. Following is some basic information on chemotherapy to assist with your cancer treatment questions.

Chemotherapy is a common treatment used to fight cancer. It is often used to destroy cancer cells, stop cancer cells from spreading, and/or slow cancer cell growth. There are many different kinds of chemotherapy, and it can be given in the following forms:

  • An IV (intravenously)
  • A shot (injection) into a muscle or other part of your body
  • A pill or a liquid that you swallow
  • A cream that is rubbed on your skin

Treatment can be every day, every week or every month, followed by a period of rest. Be sure to ask for a written copy of your treatment schedule from the doctor.

It is not always possible to tell how a person will feel during or after chemotherapy. Some people feel well enough to keep their normal schedules. Others feel more tired.

Frequently, clinical trials test new treatments to find better ways to treat cancer. By being in a clinical trial, you can try a new treatment that may, or may not, be better than the treatment already being given. Clinical trials are a treatment option for many people with cancer, and you might want to discuss possible clinical trials with your doctor. Here are some further points to discuss with the doctor:

  • Find out why you’re receiving chemo (what the chemo hopes to accomplish).
  • Ask how the chemo will be administered.
  • Check with your doctor or nurse before you take any medicine, vitamins, or herbs. Some of these can change the way chemotherapy works.

Visiting Angels of Fremont and Sunnyvale is here to provide support to you or your loved one, 24-hours a day during your cancer treatments and recovery. To learn more about our services in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties and about our compassionate caregivers, contact us today!