Chemotherapie Infuus 8

Chemotherapy

What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that works by killing the cancer cells and slowing cell division. During treatment, chemicals called cytostatics will be administered into the bloodstream, from where they will spread throughout the entire body.

What to expect?

Chemotherapy is often administered intravenously (by IV). You will have to come in several times for treatment, with time to rest in between your appointments. Chemotherapy can also be administered orally as a pill, or through an injection.

What are the side effects?

Different people respond differently to the treatment. The exact side effects you will experience depend on the type of chemotherapy you will receive, and your sensitivity. You might experience fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or hair loss. You are also at a heightened risk of infections, anaemia, nose bleeds, or small haemorrhaging on the skin. We will try and make the chemotherapy as comfortable as possible for you.
Chemotherapy can affect your fertility. You might want to consider freezing your eggs or embryos prior to the treatment. Your physician will discuss your options with you.

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Chemotherapy: what to expect?

Would you like to learn more about chemotherapy? How does it work and what kinds of side effects can you expect? We have summarized the most important information for you in this video:

Chemoradiation

Chemotherapy can be used in combination with radiotherapy. This is called chemoradiation. The chemotherapy makes the cancer cells more vulnerable to radiation.

Different types of chemotherapy

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is a treatment given before surgery in order to achieve a better end result.

The goal is to:

  • shrink the tumor so the surgeon has a better chance of removing it, and major surgery can be avoided;
  • destroy the very small, invisible cancer cells that may linger (micrometastasis). This reduces the risk of recurrence.

Chemotherapy as a curative treatment

Chemotherapy can cure certain types of cancer. In medical terms, this is called curative treatment. Some of the cancer types that can be cured through chemotherapy are specific types of lymphoma (Hodgkin and specific non-Hodgkin lymphoma), and testicular cancer.

Chemotherapy as a palliative treatment

When administered to patients with metastatic cancer, chemotherapy can slow down cancer growth in order to decrease symptoms and prolong life. In medical terms, this is called palliative treatment.

The effects of the treatment depend on your medical situation and the type of chemotherapy you are receiving. Your treatment team will discuss your personal situation with you.