Suncoast Cancer Institute offers chemotherapy treatment, or “chemo” for short, in our office. As an outpatient service, this means you are able to return home the same day as your treatment. Inline with putting our patients first, when you undergo outpatient chemotherapy treatment at Suncoast Cancer Institute, we go above and beyond to value your time and keep you comfortable. This means you won’t spend hours waiting in the lobby or waiting in the infusion room to receive your treatment. Additionally, we have installed curtains in our infusion room to provide privacy when desired. These are just two examples of how we strive to make our patients experience with us as stress free and pleasant as possible.
What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that destroys cancer cells using chemical agents. Depending upon the form of cancer, some cancer cells grow slowly while others grow rapidly. As a result, different types of chemotherapy drugs are designed to target the growth patterns of specific types of cancer cells. Each drug has a different way of working and is effective at a specific time in the life cycle of the targeted cells. As treatment progresses, your oncologist may make adjustments to your drugs as warranted.
How is Chemotherapy Administered?
You may receive chemotherapy drugs in the form of shots, IV (infusion), or pill form. As an outpatient treatment, Suncoast Cancer Institute patients undergoing chemo are still able to go about their daily activities and enjoy their current lifestyle.
How often you receive chemotherapy depends on the type of cancer and which drug or combination of drugs you receive. Chemotherapy is usually structured in cycles with rest periods in between, and generally, treatments are given daily, weekly or monthly. Depending upon your individual case, your oncologist will determine how often chemo is needed.
What are the Side Effects of Chemotherapy?
As with any medication, side effects are possible. However, the cancer experts at Suncoast Cancer Institute will work to reduce or eliminate side effects caused by the treatment. This is possible through advancements in side effect therapy. Possible side effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hair Loss
- Pain such as headaches, muscle aches, and stomach aches
- Loss of Appetite
At each appointment you will meet with your oncologist to go over your progress, discuss side effects, and make adjustments to your treatment as needed. If side effects are present, your oncologist will make it a priority to address and hopefully eliminate them altogether. Please contact our office at any point in time if side effects appear.
Is Chemotherapy Right For Me?
The decision to undergo chemotherapy is personal. That is why you and your oncologist will work closely to determine the treatment path that is right for you. Factors used to determine if chemo is a viable treatment option include:
- Age of patient
- Health of patient
- Stage of cancer
- Response rate of cancer to certain drugs
- Nodal Status
Since no two cancers are the same. the experienced oncology team at Suncoast Cancer Institute will thoroughly review each patient’s specific case and make recommendations on the most effective treatment options. Among many the factors listed above, your oncologist will consider the response rate of your particular type of cancer to certain drugs. Your oncologist will then outline the advantages and disadvantages associated with each treatment type.
Learn More About Chemotherapy at Suncoast Cancer Institute
At Suncoast Cancer Institute, the patient comes first. As a part of our family, our patients can rest easy knowing that the oncologists are dedicated to providing the most effective treatment with the least amount of side effects. Furthermore, since you will be seeing your oncologist at each appointment, you never have to worry about working with a doctor who is not familiar with your individual case. Learn more about Suncoast Cancer Institute or schedule an appointment today.