Trust Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for chemotherapy treatments and supportive care to relieve any side effects.
Chemotherapy, or chemo, can treat a wide range of types of cancer. If your cancer treatment plan includes chemo, you’ll receive one or more chemotherapy medications, which help kill cancer cells and stop tumors from growing.
Ways to receive chemo
Depending on the medications you take, you may receive treatment through one or more of the following:
- Intravenously, or through an IV
- Through injections (shots)
- Orally, in which you take pills by mouth
You’ll likely also take medications to avoid or lessen side effects of chemotherapy.
Learn more about chemoembolization, a minimally invasive procedure that uses chemo drugs to fight cancer. This procedure is most often used for liver cancer.
How long will I receive chemo?
Your treatment may take place over three to six months and include four to eight cycles. A cycle means the time when you get treatment and the rest period that follows. For example, if your cycles are two weeks long, you may receive treatment on days one and two then have a rest period with no treatment on days three through 14. The next cycle would begin on day 15.
Your care team plans your chemo schedule and cycles to help you reach the best possible results. Chemo given in cycles:
- Kills more cancer cells
- Gives your body time to rest and recover from side effects
Healthy cells repair themselves faster than cancer cells, so chemo can destroy cancer cells without causing long-lasting harm to normal cells.
IV chemo: what to expect
The amount of time each IV chemo treatment takes depends on several factors. It may take up to several hours. Ask your care team what to expect and rely on us to help you feel comfortable throughout the process.
Vascular access device (VAD) for IV chemo
If you get chemo through an IV, your doctor may implant a vascular access device (VAD) in your body. A VAD, or port, is a flexible, plastic tube placed in a large vein near the heart. This option helps prevent discomfort and damage to smaller veins from repeat placement of an IV.
During treatment, your provider inserts the IV into the port to deliver chemo to your bloodstream.
The VAD will stay in place for a few months. After your last treatment, your doctor will remove the VAD.
Side effects of chemo
Trust our staff to closely monitor your condition and help you manage any symptoms — so you avoid stress and feel your best.
If you experience side effects, they may include:
- Bruising or bleeding that happens easily
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Many side effects go away quickly after you finish treatment. Some patients don’t experience any side effects.
Your cancer care plan
Rely on your care team to recommend a personalized treatment plan. If cancer has spread (metastasized) to different areas of the body, you may have chemotherapy as well as biologic therapies.
Your plan may also include cancer treatments such as radiation therapy or surgery based on your needs.