One of many mighty weapons in the cancer fight

What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy, or chemo, is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It is often given through a vein (IV) in the arm, but can also be taken as a pill or as a shot. Chemotherapy can be used to treat many different types of cancer and is often combined with other treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy.

Who is a candidate for chemotherapy?

If you've been diagnosed with cancer, chemotherapy could be part of your overall treatment plan. Your doctor will assess your individual situation to determine if chemo is right for you. Some questions they will consider include:

  • if your cancer is at a stage where chemotherapy is likely to be effective
  • whether you can tolerate the side effects

If you aren't a candidate for chemotherapy, your doctor may recommend other treatment options. Some instances where people are not candidates for chemo include:

  • having certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or kidney disease
  • being pregnant
  • being allergic to chemotherapy drugs
  • not being able to tolerate the side effects

What to expect in chemotherapy

Chemo treatment may occur at any stage of your care or recovery. A personalized treatment program will be designed specifically for your unique needs.

Depending on the type of chemo you get, you may have side effects such as:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • hair loss
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • low blood cell counts
  • appetite changes
  • mouth soreness

Some side effects might happen during or right after treatment, and others days or weeks later. Not everyone will have the same side effects. Your cancer care team will help you manage side effects, such as giving you medicine for nausea.

Benefits of chemotherapy

Because each course of chemotherapy is unique to you, your diagnosis and your treatment journey, the potential benefits are also unique. Some different goals for using chemotherapy include:

  • Curing your cancer. Sometimes your chemotherapy is designed in hopes of curing your cancer and having it not come back. However, it may take many years to know if a person's cancer is really cured.
  • Controlling the spread. In other cases, the goal is to shrink tumors and stop the cancer from growing and spreading. This is used in situations when your cancer may not be curable but can be slowed down and managed more like a chronic illness.
  • Symptom relief. Some chemotherapy treatments are designed to ease the symptoms caused by cancer.

Expertise in chemo

Our team of highly skilled and experienced medical professionals has a deep understanding of chemotherapy and its effects on the body. They'll closely watch your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Convenience and comfort

We offer convenient chemo infusion centers throughout South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland, making it easy for you to receive the care you need. Each center is designed to provide a comfortable and relaxing environment, with private rooms and amenities to help you feel at ease.

Advanced technology

We use the latest technology to deliver the most effective and safe chemotherapy treatments. Our infusion centers are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including infusion pumps and monitoring devices.

Supportive care

We understand that chemotherapy can be a challenging experience, both physically and emotionally. Our team is ready with the support and resources you need to cope with any side effects and maintain your quality of life.