Chemotherapy is different than other types of treatment such as radiation or surgery which are considered local treatments. Chemotherapy is used to treat the whole body and is therefore called a systemic treatment. There are over 100 types of chemotherapy drugs currently on the market, but with ongoing clinical trials newer more effective drugs that target specific cancers will soon be available. Chemotherapy is used to cure cancer, control it, or as palliative care (relieve symptoms.) It can either be given by itself or as adjuvant therapy when it is combined with other treatment options.
Tips for chemotherapy treatment
- When you are receiving chemotherapy treatments, drink at least 8–12 eight-ounce glasses of fluids the day prior to treatment, the day of treatment, and the day after treatment.
- Dress in layers such as sweaters or jackets which may be removed if you become warm or put on if you become cold.
- If you are cold, ask a volunteer for a blanket from our blanket warmer.
- Wear front button shirts if you have a central venous catheter (port) which needs to be used for your treatment.
- Bring only one family member (13 years of age or older) or friend during your treatment.
- Please avoid bringing foods with strong odors into the infusion area.
- Please avoid wearing strong smelling perfumes/lotions so as to be considerate to other patients’ sensitivities.
Our patients are offered small snacks and beverages at no charge from our hospitality cart that is staffed by our volunteers. We also have vending and soda machines available for you or your family members and a café that offers breakfast and lunch (Russel Hill location only). Please ask a staff member for directions.