Chemotherapy

Also known as: Oral chemotherapy, Intravenous chemotherapy, Intramuscular chemotherapy, IV chemotherapy, IM chemotherapy, Intravesical chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the use of medicine to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the medicines enter the bloodstream, travel through the body, and can destroy cancer cells outside the target area.

Chemotherapy may be taken by mouth (orally), or it may be given through a needle into a vein (intravenously, or IV) or a muscle (intramuscular, or IM). It also may be given through a catheter directly into the abdominal cavity. This is called intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Or it may be given directly into an organ, such as the bladder. This is called intravesical chemotherapy.
Providence Cancer Center Oncology and Hematology Care Clinics offer expert, team-based care for patients with cancer or blood disorders. We work closely with patients, families and referring physicians during diagnosis, evaluation and treatment.

Ask An Expert

Ask an Expert: Chemotherapy and insomnia

Q: I'm undergoing chemo, and though I am experiencing heavy-duty fatigue, I am also suffering from insomnia! Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep; other nights I wake up around 3 a.m. for an hour or two. My medical oncologist said chemo can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and prescribed Ambien. I don't like the idea of relying on a sleeping pill. Anything else I can do?

Answer from Miles Hassell, M.D., director of Providence Integrative Medicine at Providence Cancer Center:

Ask an Expert: Chemotherapy and acupuncture

Q: I'm about to have chemotherapy, and a friend is encouraging me to get acupuncture to help with the toxic side effects. Can acupuncture really help? What is the best timing for treatments?

Answer from Loch Chandler, N.D., M.S.O.M., L.Ac., acupuncture naturopath with Providence Integrative Medicine:

Proprietary Health Article

Lung Cancer FAQ: Lung cancer types and treatments

Q: "What are the different types of lung cancer and what treatments are used for each type?"

Lung Cancer FAQ: Chemotherapy for stage IV lung cancer

Q: "I have stage IV lung cancer. Why is chemotherapy sometimes used to treat later stage (Stage IV) lung cancer? What would happen if I did not take chemotherapy?"

Recommended Resource

Cancer: Controlling nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy

Of all the side effects of chemotherapy, nausea and vomiting are the most common and are among the most feared. But having chemotherapy does not mean that you have to suffer with nausea and vomiting.

American Cancer Society

American Cancer Society‚Äôs home page with links to all types of cancer, symptoms, treatment options, statistics trials and ways to contribute. 

KidsCope.org

The KidsCope website explains the non-profit program designed to help children and families understand the effects of cancer or chemotherapy on a loved one.

Latest news

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  • Pilot program offers relief for chemo patients

    Chemotherapy infusion patients in Hood River can now meet with a pharmacist during each treatment, thanks to a new pilot program aimed at improving patient safety and reducing medication side effects. A $20,000 grant from Cardinal Health to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital supports the program, which is also expected to reduce health care costs overall for these patients.

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