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  1. Medical Service

    Head & Neck Surgery

    The Brooklyn Hospital Center's Division of Head and Neck Surgery manages the diagnosis and surgical treatment of benign and malignant tumors of the head and neck. Staffed by a team of highly capable sur ...

  2. Medical Service

    Otolaryngology

    mon Conditions and Services Head and neck infections, cysts, lesions, masses all ... cer papillomas spasmodic dysphonia throat infections vocal fold nodules Head ...

  3. Medical Service

    Pediatric Surgery

    infections congenital anomalies and tumors of the head, neck, chest, abd ...

  4. Medical Service

    Plastic Surgery

    years of specialty training in head and neck surgery and facial pla ... of the head and neck provides the facial plastic surgeon with a strong foc ...

  5. Medical Service

    Allergy & Immunology

    rrhea, headache, runny nose itching of the nose, mouth, throat, skin, or any ...

  6. Medical Service

    Neurology

    disorders neck and back pain stroke headaches carpal tunnel syndrome ...

  7. Medical Service

    Nuclear Medicine

    imaging equipment including one single-head and three dual-head gamma cam ...

  8. Medical Service

    Pediatric Genetics

    lude: unexplained developmental/speech delays or mental retardation small head siz ...

  9. Physician

    Heather MacAdam

    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician The Brooklyn Hospital Center 121 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11201 Specialty:  Pediatric Emergency Medicine Medical School:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Internship:  Jackson Memorial Hospital Residenc ...

  10. Medical Service

    Speech & Hearing

    rehabilitation for head and neck cancer patients Voice disorders (vocal nod ...

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  1. Medical Service Parent

    Cancer Care

    cer, but being aware of your body and seeking medical care when you start to notice ...

  2. Heart Disease

    tent above is based on Adam Health Content, for  more details related to  ... .599.6200   HEALTH RESOURCES Wellness for Life Club   What is Your  BODY MASS IND ...

  3. Diabetes

    el.   The content above is based on Adam Health Content, for  more details related ... t is Your  BODY MASS INDEX >   Need Help Losing Weight?  Visit our Wei ...

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    Cared For — Body and Mind

    When I woke up in the middle of the night with a very painful "charley horse" in my calf after a trip to Washington DC, I thought nothing of it. I just figured I had strained it from the active day, no big deal. But the pain lingered on, intensi ...

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    Dermatology

    n and body, offering skin care for the entire family. Not all skin conditions ... cer, ethnicity matters Malignant melanomas can appear anywhere on the body ...

  6. Medical Service

    Otolaryngology

    and sleep apnea foreign body removal tracheotomy thyroidectomy & par ... d and Neck Surgery foreign body removal infections, cysts, lesions and masses ...

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    Palliative Care

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  10. Physician

    Heather MacAdam

    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician The Brooklyn Hospital Center 121 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11201 Specialty:  Pediatric Emergency Medicine Medical School:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Internship:  Jackson Memorial Hospital Residenc ...

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Chemotherapy

Definition

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cancer cells. Most commonly, the term is used to refer to cancer-killing drugs. This article focuses on cancer chemotherapy.

Alternative Names

Cancer chemotherapy; Cancer drug therapy; Cytotoxic chemotherapy

Information

Chemotherapy drugs can be given by mouth or injection. Because the medicines travel through the bloodstream to the entire body, the majority of administered chemotherapy is considered a body-wide (systemic) treatment.

Chemotherapy may be used to:

HOW CHEMOTHERAPY IS GIVEN

Depending on the type of cancer and where it is found, chemotherapy may be given in a number of different ways, including:

Different chemotherapy drugs may be given at the same time in combination or after each other in sequence. Patients may receive radiation therapy before, after, or while they are getting chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy is most often given in cycles. These cycles may last one day, several days, or a few weeks or more. There will usually be a rest period when no chemotherapy is given between each cycle. A rest period may last for days, weeks, or months and is given in order for the body and blood counts to recover before the next dose.

Often, the chemotherapy is given at a special clinic or at the hospital. Some people are able to receive chemotherapy in their home, even when the chemotherapy is given into the veins. Patients and their family members will receive special training if this is planned.

When chemotherapy is given over a longer period of time, a thin catheter can be placed into a large vein near the heart. The catheter is placed during a minor surgical procedure. This is called a central line (there are many types, including ports) or a percutaneously inserted central catheter (PICC).

SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY

Traditional chemotherapy medicines work best on cells that divide often to make new cells. This is typical of most cancer cells.

However, some normal cells -- including those found in the bone marrow, hair, and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract -- also divide very quickly. Chemotherapy can also damage or kill these healthy cells.

When this damage occurs, there can be side effects. Some people who receive chemotherapy:

Side effects of chemotherapy depend on many things, including the type of cancer, and which drugs are being used. Each patient reacts differently to these drugs. Some newer chemotherapy drugs that better target cancer cells more specifically may cause fewer side effects.

Your doctor and nurse will explain what you can do at home to prevent or treat side effects, such as:

You will need to have follow-up visits with your doctor and nurse during and after chemotherapy. Blood tests and imaging tests, such as x-rays, MRI, CT, or PET scans, will be done to:

References

Perry MC. Approach to the patient with cancer. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 182.



Review Date: 6/5/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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  1. Medical Service

    Orthopaedic Services

    of the foot, knee, shoulder, hip, hand or other joints. We also treat bone ... gery of the Foot, Ankle, Knee and Shoulder Cartilage and Tendon Repair Inpatient ... e Meniscus Tears Torn ACL and Other Ligament Tears Foot and Ankle Achilles ...

  2. Medical Service

    Podiatry

    The Surgical Division of Podiatry offers quality, compassionate health care and state-of-the-art therapies to treat a wide range of foot and ankle disorders. Conditions Treated ingrown toenails ankle sprains ...

  3. Medical Service

    Geriatrics

    entia, Depression, Memory Loss Urinary and Bowel Incontinence Foot Ulcers and Other Slow Healing ...

  4. Physician

    Heather MacAdam

    Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician The Brooklyn Hospital Center 121 DeKalb Avenue Brooklyn NY 11201 Specialty:  Pediatric Emergency Medicine Medical School:  University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Internship:  Jackson Memorial Hospital Residenc ...

  5. Heart Disease

    tent above is based on Adam Health Content, for  more details related to  ...

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  7. Article

    Saturday in the Park! Annual health fair in Fort Greene Park helps us keep Brooklyn healthy.

    r prostate cancer). Dental and foot screenings, HIV/AIDS education, infant CPR ...

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    Saturday In The Park-- TBHC Health Fair Emphasizes Wellness and Prevention

    tal, glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, postural, foot, PSA, and BMI ...

  9. Article

    Building a Better Health Care Delivery System for Brooklyn Communities

    work.  The report covers 15 zip codes, including Bedford Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Bro ...

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    New Report on Health Needs, Gaps and Barriers to Care in North and Central Brooklyn Released in Conjunction with Proposed Redesign of Brooklyn’s Health Care System

    oklyn Perinatal Network.  The report covers 15 zip codes, including Bedford Stu ...

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