Chemo 101: Understanding Chemotherapy

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. Many patients often have questions and/or a few fears about receiving chemotherapy. To help in your understanding of chemotherapy, Heaven at Home would like to explain the basics of treatment:

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.

Heaven at Home’s compassionate caregivers can help guide your loved one and your family through cancer treatments and work with your physician to create a plan of care at home. To learn more about in-home care services from a top Plano home care agency, contact us online or give us a call us at 866-381-0500. For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.