If you are diagnosed with cancer, your healthcare providers may recommend chemotherapy as part of your treatment. Chemotherapy uses anticancer medications to destroy cancerous cells in your body, or stop them from reproducing or growing. It is a common treatment for cancer and a service that is provided at Lakes Regional Healthcare inside the Outpatient Center. Chemotherapy may be used alone for some types of cancer, or in combination with other treatments such as radiation or surgery.

How Do I Get Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy can be administered in a number of ways, including:

  • Orally, as a pill to swallow
  • As an injection or shot into the muscle or fat tissue
  • Intravenously, which is directly to the bloodstream and known as IV
  • Topically, which is applied to the skin
  • Directly into a body cavity

Chemotherapy is usually administered in cycles to reduce the damage to healthy cells and to give them a chance to recover. It might be given daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly, depending on your condition.

You can receive chemotherapy here within our Outpatient Center. The inviting space has skylights, windows, comfortable recliners, and a variety of entertainment items for you to enjoy.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Although chemotherapy can be effective in treating certain cancers, the chemotherapy medications reach all of your body, not just cancerous cells. As a result, there are often side effects during treatment. Anticipating these side effects can help you and your caregivers prepare and sometimes prevent these symptoms from occurring. These side effects may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Anemia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite changes
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in ability to concentrate and focus, known as “chemo brain”
  • Weight change

Side effects can be mild to severe, but most go away when treatment is complete. We encourage you to discuss all the possible side effects with your healthcare provider before you begin treatment so you are well prepared.

For more information about chemotherapy at Lakes Regional Healthcare, talk to your healthcare provider.