Chemotherapy uses medication to destroy cancer cells or slow their growth. If you need chemotherapy, count on Mount Auburn Hospital to follow the highest standards of care and provide patient education that empowers you to get better.
How Do I Receive Chemotherapy?
Depending on your type of cancer, you may get chemotherapy:
- Intravenously (directly into a vein)
- Orally (in a pill or liquid you swallow)
- Topically (through a cream you rub on your skin)
- Via an injection into a muscle or under the skin
When receiving chemotherapy at the Mount Auburn Hospital Infusion Center, you’ll feel as comfortable as possible thanks to our blanket warmer, TV and iPads loaded with movies and magazines.
How Often Do I Get Chemotherapy?
Your doctor will let you know how often you should receive chemotherapy. Your treatment schedule depends on:
- Your type and stage of cancer
- The goals of treatment (whether to cure cancer, control its growth or ease your symptoms)
- The type of chemotherapy
- How your body responds to treatment
To get the most benefit from chemotherapy, stick to your treatment schedule. If you experience side effects, ask your doctor or nurse about changing the schedule.
Managing Side Effects
Chemotherapy targets fast-growing cells, which include not only tumors, but also healthy cells affecting your mouth, digestive tract and hair. That’s why treatment can lead to side effects such as dry mouth, nausea and hair loss. Find help managing them with our extensive support services.
When to Call the Hematology Oncology Center
To protect your health, call Mount Auburn Hospital’s Hematology Oncology Center at 617-499-5166 right away if you experience any of these chemotherapy side effects:
- Fever higher than 100.5
- Shaking chills (uncontrollable shivering)
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in urine or stool
- Coughing with mucus
- Shortness of breath
- Severe constipation or diarrhea
- Vomiting that continues 48 hours after treatment
- Soreness or redness at the IV site
- Mouth sores or difficulty swallowing