- Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families
- Learning about chemotherapy treatment
- A checklist of questions to ask your doctor or nurse
- Should I get a second opinion?
- Where will I get chemo?
- How will the chemo be given to me?
- What are clinical trials?
- Can I take other medicines while I am getting chemo?
- How will I know if the chemo is working?
- How do I give my permission for this treatment?
- Chemo safety
- Will I be able to work during treatment?
- Chemo side effects
- What are common side effects?
- Hair loss
- Increased chance of bruising, bleeding, and infection
- Nausea and vomiting
- Other chemo side effects and tips to manage them
- Mouth, gum, and throat problems
- Nerve and muscle problems
- Skin and nail changes
- Urine changes and bladder and kidney problems
- Weight gain
- Other questions you may have
- When to call your doctor
- Sex, fertility, and chemo
- Thoughts, emotions, and chemo
- Paying for chemo treatment
- More information from your American Cancer Society
Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families
You’ve been told you have cancer. You’ve looked at your treatment options, and you and your doctor have agreed that chemotherapy is your best choice. Now you may have questions about chemotherapy treatment.
The American Cancer Society knows that you may have concerns about chemotherapy, and we have answers to some of your questions. Remember that, along with reading about your treatment, you can also count on your doctor and nurse to answer your questions.
At the end of this document, you will find a glossary that defines some of the words and terms used by your health care team. The words that are in italic type the first time they are used are also in the glossary. You can use the glossary to help you better understand the talks you have with your health care team. Open and honest talks with your cancer care team are the best way to understand what’s going on with you, your body, and the cancer.
Last Medical Review: 03/07/2013
Last Revised: 03/07/2013