Cochise Oncology

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How Does Chemotherapy Kill Cancer Cells?

Though you’re no doubt familiar with chemotherapy, you may know exactly what it is or how it works. Chemotherapy is one of several treatments we offer at Cochise Oncology, and our experienced oncologists will help you understand your options and pick the best path for you.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a medical treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing and spreading. The specific drugs and treatment regimen used in chemotherapy will depend on several factors, including the type of cancer being treated, the stage of the cancer, and the overall health of the patient. 

Chemotherapy can be used as a primary treatment for cancer, or it may be used in combination with other treatments, such as surgery and radiation therapy. At Cochise Oncology, we provide personalized treatments in a spa-like setting to give you the most effective treatment and most comfortable experience. 

Chemotherapy Sierra Vista, Tucson

How Does Chemotherapy Work?

Chemotherapy drugs disrupt cancer cells’ ability to divide and grow. These drugs target rapidly dividing cells, which is a characteristic of cancer cells. When the drugs are introduced into the body, they circulate through the bloodstream and attack cancer cells throughout the body. Once inside the cancer cell, the drugs interfere with its ability to divide and replicate by damaging its DNA or other important cellular processes. 

By killing cancer cells or stopping them from dividing and growing, chemotherapy can shrink tumors and slow or stop the spread of cancer. However, because chemotherapy drugs can also affect healthy cells, the treatment can have side effects.

What to Expect During Chemotherapy

You’ll most likely receive chemotherapy through an IV at our luxurious Sierra Vista facility. Most patients can drive themselves to and from their chemo appointments. 

Each patient will have a unique treatment schedule based on the type and stage of their cancer. Typically, you will receive chemotherapy on a cycle that gives your body time to recover between treatments. The duration of chemotherapy can vary from a few weeks to several months, depending on your body’s response.

You should expect to have some side effects from chemotherapy. The Cochise Oncology team will give you advice for managing these side effects, and we’ll adjust your treatment as necessary. The most common side effects of chemotherapy include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Infection
  • Mood swings
  • Fertility problems


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

How Effective is Chemotherapy?

Multiple types of chemotherapy may be used for various cancers, and the chemo may be a patient’s primary treatment or just a supplement. With all these factors, the effectiveness of chemotherapy will vary for each patient. Overall, chemotherapy has proven an effective treatment option for many. Your oncologist at Cochise Oncology will help you determine if chemotherapy is right for you.


*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Do you have questions about chemotherapy? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. 

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