At Stronach Regional Cancer Centre we offer different chemotherapy drugs to treat a wide variety of cancers, both as standard treatment and through clinical trials of new, innovative therapies. Researchers are continually working to tailor chemotherapy drugs to attack specific tumors, which provide a highly effective treatment with fewer side effects and less impact on healthy organs and tissues.
Many people assume chemotherapy causes uncomfortable side effects. Management of these has improved in recent years. We provide education to assist you in understanding the side effects and how they can be managed. Our goal is to optimize your treatment experience.
More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer receive chemotherapy. For millions of people, chemotherapy helps treat their cancer effectively, enabling them to enjoy full, productive lives.1
Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells, control their growth, or relieve pain symptoms. Chemotherapy may involve one drug, or a combination of two or more drugs, depending on the type of cancer. Chemotherapy can be used in combination with other treatments such as surgery, or radiation to make sure all cancer cells have been eliminated.
Patients who are scheduled to receive chemotherapy treatments at the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre, will receive those treatments in the chemotherapy unit which consists 23 chairs/beds. They will meet health care professionals, including nurses and pharmacists who will provide support, discuss treatment, side effect management and answer any questions. A group of dedicated volunteers will also assist with your comfort needs during treatment
Chemotherapy is administered in different ways, some of the most common ways it is delivered at Stronach Regional Cancer Centre are:
Intravenous is the most common method of delivering chemotherapy. A needle is inserted into a vein and attached with tubing to a plastic bag holding the chemotherapy drugs. The needle is taken out at the end of each treatment.
For some patients who undergo several chemotherapy sessions, a catheter, another type of plastic tubing, is inserted into one of the large veins and left in place until the last chemotherapy session is complete.
Some patients may have a metal or plastic device known as a "port" implanted under the skin. The IV tube is then connected to this port instead of having a needle inserted at each treatment session.
IV bags are attached to a tall metal stand with wheels, providing some mobility.
Some patients receiving intravenous chemotherapy may have a drug pump surgically inserted into their body or wear a small pump outside the body, with minimal interference to their normal routine.
This type of chemotherapy is taken by mouth either in pill or liquid form.
Injections are administered into the muscle, under the skin, or directly into a cancer lesion, depending on the type or location of the cancer.
1. Ignoffo RJ, Rosenbaum EH. What happens in chemotherapy. In: Ko AH, Dollinger M, Rosenbaum EH, eds. Everyone's Guide to Cancer Therapy, Revised 5th Edition. Kansas City, MS: Andrew McMeel Publishing; 2008.