Depending on the type of cancer and its stage of development, chemotherapy can be used for a variety of purposes including:
You usually receive chemotherapy in cycles, depending on your condition and which drugs are used. Treatment may include taking the drugs daily, weekly, or monthly for a few months or several months, with a recovery period after each cycle. Recovery periods allow time for your body to rest and produce new, healthy cells.
Chemotherapy drugs can be taken in a number of forms. Your doctor determines what form(s) to use primarily based on what type of cancer you have and what drug(s) will best treat your cancer. Examples of different forms of chemotherapy include:
Temporary side effects from chemotherapy treatments might include:
How long these temporary side effects last depends on what drug(s) you take and for how long. Most side effects will diminish shortly after you stop your chemotherapy treatments. Most short-term side effects can be reduced with medication. If side effects make you uncomfortable or if you experience pain, tell your doctor. If you find that the side effects are more than you are willing to endure, you can change treatments.
Questions to ask your doctor about chemotherapy