Chemotherapy & Radiation Therapy,
Treating Cancer in the Quad Cities
Chemotherapy is a very common treatment option for patients with cancer. The drugs associated with the treatment can be given by mouth or through an injection. Because the medicines travel through the blood stream to the entire body, chemotherapy is considered a body-wide (systemic) treatment, as it will affect areas of your body in addition to the cancer site.
Chemotherapy has several different applications, and may be used in one of the following ways:
- Cure the cancer
- Keep the cancer from spreading
- Ease symptoms (when the cancer cannot be cured)
Chemotherapy medicines usually target cells that divide quickly. However, normal cells -- including those found in the blood, hair, and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract -- also divide very quickly. That means chemotherapy can also damage or kill these healthy cells. When this occurs, side effects such as nausea, anemia and hair loss can occur. Some persons who receive chemotherapy also have fatigue, nerve pain and infection.
While our staff will make every effort to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible throughout your ongoing chemotherapy treatments, we highly recommend that you engage the support of loved ones with you throughout your cancer treatment.
Trinity provides chemotherapy services at its Infusion Center or in a private oncology physician's office located in the Quad Cities.
Cancer cells usually multiply faster than other cells in the body, which sometimes is the reason why undetected cancer can spread so rapidly. Because radiation is most harmful to rapidly growing cells, radiation therapy is effective in damaging cancer cells more than normal cells.
Specifically, radiation therapy damages the DNA of cancer cells, which prevents the cancer cells from growing and dividing. Unfortunately, certain healthy cells can also be killed by this process. The death of these healthy cells can lead to side effects such as hair loss or skin changes.
Radiation therapy is used to fight many types of cancer. It is often used to shrink a tumor as much as possible before surgery. Radiation can also be incorporated after surgery to prevent the cancer from coming back.
For certain types of cancer, radiation therapy is the only type of treatment needed, while other types of cancer are treated with a combination approach. Radiation may also be used to provide temporary relief of symptoms, or to treat malignancies (cancers) that cannot be removed with surgery.
There are two forms of radiation therapy:
- External beam radiation, the most common form, carefully aims high powered x-rays directly at the tumor from outside of the body.
- Brachytherapy uses Radioactive Seeds that are placed directly into or near the tumor.