Chemotherapy

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Oncologists Provide Patients with Comprehensive Chemotherapy Treatment

Patients receiving adrenal cancer treatment from the Urologic Oncology Center, a part of UH Seidman Cancer Center, benefit from our multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to cancer care. The center’s team of surgeons, physicians, oncologists, radiologists and nurses provides each patient with a customized plan that is tailored to fit his or her health and lifestyle needs.

Treatment plans for adrenal cancer may involve the use of chemotherapy, which may be administered with other therapies or as a standalone treatment. The physician will thoroughly discuss with the patient the possible benefits and risks of undergoing chemotherapy.

About Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells of by stopping them from dividing. The therapy destroys cancer cells that have metastasized or spread from the adrenal gland to the lymph nodes, bones or organs. Chemotherapy is an outpatient treatment that is administered at UH Seidman Cancer Center main campus in Cleveland or at any of our satellite locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

Adrenal Chemotherapy Administration

Chemotherapy is typically given to patients with an advanced stage of adrenal cancer or a recurrence of the disease. The drugs circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream and can kill rapidly growing cancerous and noncancerous cells. Chemotherapy drugs are carefully controlled in dosage and frequency so that cancer cells are destroyed, while the risk to healthy cells is minimized.

The drug mitotane may be used to treat adrenocortical carcinoma. The patient takes the drug on a daily basis following a surgical procedure. Mitotane stops the adrenal cortex from making hormones and relieves the symptoms caused by the hormones. Mitotane may be used after a surgical procedure as adjuvant therapy, which stops the cancer from returning.

During the therapy schedule, patients attend visits with one of our physicians for a physical exam and to review necessary laboratory results. Patients should feel free to call us 24/7 with any questions regarding the process. A physician is always on call and available to address any concerns.

Potential Side Effects

While many individuals are familiar with the possible negative side effects related to chemotherapy treatment, UH Seidman Cancer Center oncologists are pleased to report that today’s chemotherapy is less toxic than previous chemotherapy medications. Current chemotherapy treatment directly targets cancerous cells in a patient, rather than healthy cells, which results in less discomfort and side effects.

The common side effects of chemotherapy depend on the type of drugs used, the dosage and the length of treatment.

Side effects may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss (hair will grow back following treatment)
  • Hand and foot rashes
  • Mouth sores
  • A decrease in blood cell counts that results in an increased risk of infection

The side effects experienced as a result of chemotherapy typically diminish shortly following treatment. Our expert medical team will answer any questions regarding chemotherapy for adrenal cancer.

Comprehensive Chemotherapy Education

Our health care experts offer chemotherapy classes to provide education and information about the treatment process. Patients should sign up for the classes in order to participate. Sessions are available on various days and at different times at UH Seidman Cancer Center main campus in Cleveland and at satellite locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

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