Chemotherapy is an effective treatment option for many different types of cancer. However, it’s not one-size-fits-all. There are actually more than 100 different kinds of chemotherapy medications available. In order to determine the best drug and treatment schedule for each patient, one of the first things oncologists at RCCA look at is what type and stage of cancer the patient has.
Understanding Your Chemotherapy Schedule
Because chemotherapy drugs are so powerful and can cause potentially severe side effects, they’re typically administered over a set period of time with breaks in-between. The breaks give your body a chance to heal and recover from the side effects, so that it can be strong and healthy for the next round. This schedule can vary greatly from one patient to the next and is often determined in part by the drugs being given and the type of cancer, where it is located and what stage it is, in addition to the patient’s overall health.
This is why every patient has a different experience with chemo. Some patients might receive it for six months, while others may receive it for a year or beyond. Some might be given one drug, while others are given a cocktail of different drugs. In addition, some chemo drugs come in pill form, and others must be administered intravenously. Plus, depending on the specific drug(s) used, there may be different side effects.
Chemotherapy for Different Types of Cancer
Some chemo drugs are more effective for certain types of cancer than others. That’s because each one works differently within the body. For example, doctors may recommend a chemotherapy drug called Adriamycin, which is typically given through injection, to a patient with breast cancer. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, low blood cell counts and mucositis, among others.
On the other hand, doctors may recommend a drug called Cisplatin to treat a patient with non-small cell lung cancer. While it’s also given intravenously and can cause low blood counts, nausea and vomiting, this drug is known to cause hearing loss, kidney toxicity and taste changes, as well.
Learn More from the Area’s Leading Oncologists
At RCCA, your chemotherapy schedule is carefully selected and planned out to give you the best outcomes. Whether you have breast cancer, lung cancer or another type of cancer, you can rest assured your treatment protocol has been designed with your needs in mind. If you have any questions about chemotherapy treatment, contact Regional Cancer Care Associates today.