Chemotherapy is a common treatment method recommended by doctors to kill cancerous cells or to slow down the progression of the disease. Most people think of chemotherapy to be a torturous and agonizing procedure that comes with many dreadful side effects. However, chemotherapy works in different ways for different people. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself about the treatment method if you are about to start a course. Below are some of the more important things that you should know about chemotherapy.

There are Many Types of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves using different kinds of drugs based on the type of cancer the patient has. In some cases, the drug administration can be through an IV, which is called infusion chemotherapy, whereas in others the drug can be taken in pill or capsule form. Chemotherapy drugs are categorized into five main categories and most people are treated with only a single type of chemotherapy drug. Sometimes a combination of different chemotherapy drugs can also be used to treat cancer depending upon the severity of the condition.

Not All Chemotherapy Drugs Cause Hair Loss

The common side effects of chemotherapy drug administration include pains, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. Some chemotherapy drugs can even cause mouth sores after the treatment while others can lead to loss of appetite, smell, taste, and hair loss all over the body. Not all chemotherapy drugs have the same side effects and most of the side effects are temporary, lasting for up to a couple of days to a few months. You may also ask your doctor if there are any alternatives if your chemotherapy drug is causing severe side effects.

Feeling Uncomfortable is Normal

It is seen that most people fear going to chemotherapy, especially on the first day. This is because patients are unaware of how the treatment method works. It can be very difficult to come to terms with cancer if you have no idea of how to manage the illness. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a specialist at any low-income health clinic before you go for chemotherapy. Counseling sessions at community healthcare centers can help educate you about the treatment and make it a bit easier to fight the disease.

Just as the chemotherapy drugs differ for different types of cancers, the treatment course can also vary and work differently from person to person. Therefore, it would be safe to say that whatever you may have heard about chemotherapy might not apply to you at all. With that in mind, it is common to feel tired or drowsy after the treatment, so make sure to have someone accompany you when you are going to the hospital for chemotherapy.

Book an Appointment

    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

    To Book an Appointment

    We are standing by to assist you.

    Please call 310-706-2594