Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body in order to kill cancer cells. The side effects from the chemotherapy come from the fact that it destroys normal cells as well.
Chemotherapy is usually given by vein, but some forms can be given by mouth as well. Your medical oncologist will tell you how many cycles or courses of chemotherapy are best for you. Usually there are between 4-8 cycles of chemotherapy given when the chemotherapy is delivered on its own.
The side effects and amount of time required in the doctor’s office depend on the type of chemotherapy you receive, as well as how many cycles you receive and how often. The most common chemotherapy-associated side effects are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Hair loss