Chemotherapy

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Offers Chemotherapy Care for Prostate Cancer

UH Seidman Cancer Center's Urologic Oncology Center provides a myriad of treatment options, including chemotherapy for patients with prostate cancer. Unlike surgery or radiation therapy, which removes, destroys or damages cancer cells in a specific area, chemotherapy works throughout the body via the patient's bloodstream to control or slow the progression of prostate cancer.

Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells that have metastasized, or spread, from the prostate gland to other areas of the body including the bones, lymph nodes or organs like the liver and lungs.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment used to destroy cancer cells. Often, it is not the primary therapy for prostate cancer patients, but is used when cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland. Chemotherapy is typically administered to patients with an advanced stage of the disease. The drugs circulate throughout the patient's body and can kill rapidly growing cancerous and noncancerous cells. Chemotherapy drugs are carefully controlled in dosage and frequency so that cancer cells are destroyed and the risk to healthy cells is minimized.

Managing Chemotherapy Treatment

Chemotherapy drugs are administered to patients through an intravenous catheter or by mouth every three to four weeks. Chemotherapy treatment is offered at all UH Seidman Cancer Center locations. During the therapy schedule, patients attend visits with a UH doctor for a physical exam and to review necessary laboratory results. Patients can call UH Seidman Cancer Center 24/7 with any questions regarding the process. A physician is always on call and available to address any concerns.

Side Effects

Side effects depend on the type of drugs used, the dosage and the length of treatment.

Common side effects may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hair loss
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes
  • Anemia
  • A decrease in blood cell counts that increases the risk of infection

Prostate cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy typically experience fewer side effects than individuals receiving chemotherapy for other types of cancer. For example, only about 50 percent of prostate cancer patients experience hair loss. In addition, most of the fatigue that patients encounter subsides within a few days following treatment. Supportive medication is administered to patients prior to treatment to help offset side effects caused by chemotherapy, including drugs to reduce nausea and vomiting. Most side effects dissipate when chemotherapy treatment ends.

Comprehensive Chemotherapy Education

UH Seidman Cancer Center health care experts offer chemotherapy classes to provide education and answer questions 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 located in Cleveland and at any of our Northeast Ohio locations.

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