Cochise Oncology

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What are the Side Effects of Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a cancer-fighting technique that uses drugs to kill fast-growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, while useful, this treatment causes side effects because it also damages healthy tissue in your body. Common side effects include damage to your hair follicles, blood-forming cells in bone marrow, and cells on the surface of the digestive tract and reproductive system. Additionally, some chemotherapy drugs can damage cells in your organs, including the heart, lungs, liver, and nervous system. In light of this, doctors at Cochise Oncology will often provide you medications that help to minimize any off-target effects, protecting your body.

Chemotherapy Albuquerque

Chemotherapy Purposes

There are three distinct reasons your doctor at Cochise Oncology may prescribe chemotherapy. 

The first is the most intuitive – to kill cancerous cells in your body and eliminate the disease. Chemotherapy is a powerful intervention that allows some patients to go into remission. Being in this state means that your doctor is reasonably confident that you no longer have the disease. Note that medics will rarely talk about outright “cures,” as it is difficult to verify the total absence of cancer using current diagnostics. 

The second category of chemotherapy seeks to shrink tumors and prevent them from spreading throughout the body. Thus, the goal can be to contain cancer in a specific region so that it doesn’t become life-threatening. Often it is better on a cost-benefit basis for us to manage cancer as a chronic disease instead of going for full remission. 

Finally, some patients receive palliative chemotherapy, particularly those with advanced disease. The goal here is to reduce suffering and deliver a higher quality of life.

REQUEST A CONSULTATION

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

Chemotherapy has helped millions of patients better manage their cancer and go into remission. However, it does cause side effects, the complete list of which you can find on the American Cancer Society website

Here some of the side effects that you may experience:

 

  • Hair loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Sores on the mouth, throat, and tongue
  • Peripheral nerve-tingling, numbness, and pain
  • Problems relating to the bladder and kidney
  • Difficulties focusing or concentrating on regular tasks
  • A decline in sexual function and libido
  • Mood changes and fertility problems
  • Changes to the quality of your skin and nails
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)

 

When Should Chemotherapy be Considered?

If you know you have cancer, doctors with Cochise Oncology will discuss the merits and drawbacks of undergoing chemotherapy. Typically, your need for chemotherapy will depend on factors such as your age, how advanced your disease is, and the current state of your health. We will discuss what you should expect from the treatment and the likelihood of success. You’ll also learn about the drug combinations available to you to manage symptoms. Ultimately, the choice to pursue chemotherapy lies with you.

Testimonials

*Individual Results May Vary

5/5

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

Are you ready to learn more about Chemotherapy? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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