What are the Side Effects of Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy works because it targets cells that divide quickly. This can stop the growth of cancer cells. It also affects other fast-dividing cells like those in your skin and digestive system. If you have concerns about the side effects of chemotherapy, talk to your doctor. Your Cochise Oncology team will be with you throughout treatment to help you manage side effects. These can include:
- Hair loss
- Mouth sores
- Digestive issues
- Nausea and loss of appetite
- A weakened immune system
These side effects will usually go away when you finish your chemotherapy treatment. Newer chemotherapy agents can cause less severe side effects than older ones.
How Does Chemotherapy Work?
Chemotherapy agents use various methods to disrupt cancer cells. One agent may work better against a specific type of cancer. These include:
These drugs damage the DNA of cancer cells, so they cannot make new cells. They are effective against many types of cancer.
These drugs interrupt the natural metabolic functions of the cancer cells. They become unable to produce energy to make new cells.
These antibiotics have been isolated from bacteria. They change the DNA of cancer cells so they cannot copy themselves.
Your chemotherapy may be administered in one of several forms. These can include an IV, an oral medication, or another delivery method.