Cochise Oncology

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How to Prepare for Chemotherapy

For many, chemotherapy is the best option for defeating cancer, but it is also a long and challenging path. Equipping yourself ahead of time can make chemotherapy more manageable, and Cochise Oncology is dedicated to helping every patient on their treatment journey.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a widely used medical treatment for cancer that involves administering powerful drugs to destroy or slow down the growth of cancer cells. It is often employed as a primary or adjuvant therapy and can be administered orally or intravenously. While chemotherapy can effectively target rapidly dividing cancer cells, it may also have several common side effects.

Chemotherapy Sierra Vista, Tucson

How Does Chemotherapy Work?

Chemotherapy interferes with the growth and division of rapidly dividing cells, including cancer cells. It does this by introducing powerful drugs into the body that target various cell cycle stages, preventing cancer cells from proliferating. Cancer cells are characterized by how quickly they grow and multiply. Chemo can effectively target this characteristic, but it may also affect some healthy cells at the same time.

Preparing for Chemotherapy

Though it is often an effective cancer treatment, chemotherapy has side effects that can significantly impact your quality of life. Your Cochise Oncology team will be there every step of the way to help you manage these challenges as you battle cancer. Knowing what to expect and preparing ahead of time can help minimize the difficulty of chemo.

Many people struggle with fatigue and nausea for the first day or two after a chemo session. Planning ahead can save you from responsibilities and tasks during this time, allowing you to rest. Here are a few preparation tips for chemotherapy:

  • Have someone drive you to and from appointments
  • Give yourself time off after each appointment until you know how it affects you
  • Stock up on groceries, freeze meals in advance, or consider a meal delivery service
  • Arrange for childcare and pet care if needed


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.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Many chemotherapy side effects are worse immediately after a session. Others are more long-term and persist or come and go throughout the course of your treatment. The most common side effects of chemo are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Mouth sores
  • Pain
  • Easy bruising

How Long Does Chemotherapy Take?

Your oncology team will work with you to create a personalized treatment based on the type, location, stage of cancer, your unique needs and preferences. Typically, a course of chemotherapy takes three to six months, with cycles of daily, weekly, or monthly sessions. If you receive chemo through an IV, each session may take several hours.


*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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