Chemotherapy, in general, is the use of drugs or medicine to treat cancer.


What it is 

As opposed to the targeted efforts of radiation or surgery, chemotherapy works to kill cancer cells throughout the entire body using drug injections. Chemo is used to control the spread of cancer, improve the quality of life, and intent to cure. These drug agents are often injected using an IV needle in the lower arm.

How to prepare

Arrange for transportation to and from treatment, wear comfortable clothing, obtain a wig if you wish in light of hair loss from chemotherapy. Prepare for feeling ill and nauseous.

What happens during the process

An oncology nurse will make sure you are comfortable before starting the procedure. Most often, you will receive an IV line, through which the chemotherapy drugs will be injected. You will remain seated until the injection is complete, which may take several hours. The frequency and duration of chemo treatments are different for every patient.

Risks and Complications

Nausea, vomiting, and hair loss are the most common side effects of chemotherapy. It can also cause changes in bone marrow, mouth sores, and skin problems. Chemo may impact sex drive, fertility, and memory, as well as emotional changes.


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