Medical oncology uses chemotherapy, hormone therapy or targeted therapies to destroy cancer cells in a tumor that may have spread throughout the body from the original cancer site. All medical oncologists are physicians trained in internal medicine with special training in cancer treatment.
Oncology is an integral part of the Carson Tahoe Medical Group.
More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer receive chemotherapy. For millions of people who have cancers, this approach helps treat their cancer effectively, enabling them to enjoy full, productive lives. Furthermore, many side effects once associated with chemotherapy are now easily prevented or controlled, allowing many people to work, travel, and participate in many of their other normal activities while receiving treatment.
Chemotherapy may consist of a single drug or a combination of drugs to fight cancer cells by stopping or slowing their growth. It can be given in a variety of ways such as through a catheter in a vein or an implanted port in the chest, injected into a body cavity, or in the form of a pill by mouth. Known as systemic therapy, it travels through the body to find ad attack cancer cells; in some instances, it may also attack healthy cells causing side effects such as hair loss.
Being informed about chemotherapy and its potential side effects can help you to proactively manage your own care and optimize your treatment and outcome. Please call the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center if you have any questions about your treatment.
Chemotherapy and You is written for you - someone who is about to receive or is now receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Your family, friends, and others close to you may also want to read this book. This book is a guide you can refer to throughout your chemotherapy treatment. It includes facts about chemotherapy and its side effects and also highlights ways you can care for yourself before, during, and after treatment.
Hormones are naturally occurring substances in the body that stimulate the growth of hormone-sensitive tissues, such as the breast ovaries, testicles or prostate gland. Hormone therapy, also a systemic therapy, prohibits cancer cells from receiving or using the hormones they need to grow.
Targeted therapy is one that is designed to treat only the cancer cells and minimize damage to normal, healthy cells. Cancer treatments that target cancer cells may offer the advantage of reduced treatment-related side effects and improved outcomes. Advances in science and technology have led to the development of several different types of targeted therapies. Each of these new treatments targets cancer through different mechanisms: