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Health Information For Teens
Chemotherapy (often called “chemo”) is treatment with medicines that stop the growth of cancer cells.
Chemotherapy (pronounced: kee-mo-THER-uh-pee) works by killing cells that are dividing. Most cancer cells divide quickly so they are more likely to be killed by chemotherapy. Some normal cells that divide quickly can also be destroyed.
Chemo is different from radiation therapy, which can destroy cancer cells in a specific area of the body. Chemotherapy works to treat cancer cells that may have spread throughout the body.
There are several ways to give chemotherapy.
Sometimes, an IV is put into a larger blood vessel under the skin of the upper chest. That way, a person can get chemotherapy and other medicines through the IV and doctors won’t always use a vein in the arm.
Chemo also can be:
Chemo damages or kills cancer cells. But it also can damage normal, healthy cells. This can lead to side effects.
It’s hard to know which side effects a person might have, how long they’ll last, and when they’ll end. They’re different for each person, depending on the type of chemo drug used, the dose, and a person’s general health.
The good news is that most side effects are temporary. As the body’s normal cells recover, the side effects start to go away. If you have side effects, talk with your doctor. Many common side effects of chemo can be treated or managed.
After chemo, the doctor will check your health during follow-up checkups. The doctor will ask if you still have any side effects and will watch for any signs that the cancer is coming back.
Besides dealing with the many emotions you might feel, you have to manage the physical stuff too. Try these tips for staying comfortable and healthy during cancer treatment:
When you’re done with chemo, it’s still important to see the doctor for follow-up visits. The doctor will ask how you’re feeling and whether you’re havng any side effects. He or she will also check to see if there are any signs of the cancer coming back.
If you’re one of the many people whose cancer is being treated with chemotherapy, your doctors, nurses, and other members of the cancer treatment team are there to help you and to answer questions before, during, and after chemotherapy.
Talk with your doctors, nurses, family, and friends if you have any questions or worries. Going through treatment for cancer can be tough, but you are not alone!
Get the basics on cancer and cancer treatments in this article.
Side effects of cancer treatment can include flu-like symptoms, hair loss, and blood clotting problems. After treatment ends, most side effects go away.
More than half of all people with cancer are treated with radiation therapy. Get the facts on radiation therapy, including what it is, what to expect, and how to cope with side effects.
It’s unusual for teens to have cancer, but it can happen. The good news is that most will survive and return to their everyday lives. Learn about how to cope if you or someone you know has cancer.
If you’ve just finished a long hospital stay, you may have questions about reconnecting with friends and family. Get answers in this article for teens.
It’s hard to know how to respond when someone you love â someone your own age â is diagnosed with cancer. Here are some thoughts on dealing with feelings and helping your friend.
Visit our Cancer Center for teens to get information and advice on treating and coping with cancer.
When chemotherapy and other treatments attack cancer cells, they can affect some of the body’s healthy cells too. As a teen, you’ll want to know what this can mean to your fertility.
If your doctor prescribed steroids as part of your treatment for an illness, don’t worry. It’s not the illegal, doping scandal kind of steroid. Get the details in this article for teens.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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