Richmond University Medical Center provides a wide range of oncology services, including chemotherapy. This method has become a common treatment because of its ability to limit the growth of, or even completely eliminate, cancer cells in your body. The expert staff of oncologists, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, technologists and others in the oncology unit work hard to manage your condition and help you maintain a high quality of life.
How Chemotherapy Works
Chemotherapy is used to destroy cancer cells that grow in your body. A combination of drugs will be administered to the patient that will travel throughout the body and eradicate cancer cells at their source and in any new locations. This method is effective because cancer cells grow very quickly and can spread far away from the original tumor. While treatments like radiation and surgery attack a specific area, chemotherapy can reach every part of the body, finding cancer cells wherever they occur.
Uses of Chemotherapy
While the overarching purpose of chemotherapy is to treat the cancer in your body, it can serve different purposes depending on the patient’s needs. These purposes include:
- Remission If possible, doctors will seek to eradicate all cancer cells in a patient’s body through chemotherapy. If the cancer does not return, the patient enters remission.. However, it takes time and monitoring to determine that the cells will not grow back.
- Control: Often, all cancer cells cannot be completely removed from the body. Instead, chemotherapy will seek to control the spread of cancer or shrink a tumor.
- Palliation: In this case, chemotherapy is used to ease the symptoms that cancer causes. This can help relieve pain and improve the individual’s quality of life.
- Neoadjuvant Therapy: When doctors need to conduct other treatments, like surgery and radiation, they may use chemotherapy to shrink the size of a tumor so they can operate with less obstruction.
The mix of chemotherapy drugs you will take, the size of your dosage and how often they will be administered are all dependent on a variety of factors that is different for every patient. Our experienced oncologists will meet with you and review your health history to determine the most effective, individualized treatment plan for you. Some of the variables they will consider are:
- Type of Cancer: Certain varieties of cancer require a different mix of drugs for chemotherapy to be effective.
- Stage of the Cancer: The dosage amount and treatment schedule will be adjusted based on how far the cancer has advanced in your body.
- Health Status: Chemotherapy causes stress on the body, so your doctor will conduct a few tests before starting treatment in order to make sure you are healthy enough to proceed. In some cases, other treatments may be more appropriate.
- Previous Cancer Treatments: Your body may become resistant to certain drugs if you have received treatment before, requiring a different combination or dosage amount.
Specialized Cancer Care
At Richmond University Medical Center, our oncology experts will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your condition to provide the care that is best suited for your situation. If you have received a diagnosis, you may be referred to our dedicated Center for Cancer Care at 1000 South Ave in Staten Island, where you will receive compassionate care and individual attention in a comfortable environment. To schedule a consultation, request a referral from your physician or call (844)-934-CARE for more information.