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Chemotherapy Treatment

Chemotherapy has been used for many years and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. Chemotherapy (also called chemo) is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. Different groups of drugs work in different ways to fight cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used alone for some types of cancer or in combination with other treatments such as radiation or surgery. Often, a combination of chemotherapy drugs is used to fight a specific cancer. Certain chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order depending on the type of cancer it is being used to treat.

While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, chemotherapy drugs reach all parts of the body, not just the cancer cells. Because of this, there can be many side effects during treatment. Each person and treatment is different, so it is not always possible to tell how you will feel. Some people feel well enough to keep their normal schedules at home or at work. Others feel more tired. Today many side effects can be prevented or controlled. Talk with your doctor or nurse to learn what side effects you may have and how to manage them.

Chemotherapy can be given:

  • As a pill to swallow
  • As an injection (shot) into the muscle or fat tissue
  • Intravenously (directly to the bloodstream; also called IV)
  • Topically (applied to the skin)
  • Directly into a body cavity

To reduce the damage to healthy cells and to give them a chance to recover, chemotherapy is usually given in cycles. Chemotherapy may be given daily, weekly, every few weeks or monthly, depending on the situation.

Chemotherapy is usually given in an outpatient setting, such as a cancer center, outpatient unit in a hospital or physician’s office. No matter where you go for chemotherapy, your doctor and nurse will watch for side effects and make any needed drug changes.

Medical Oncology

Medical Oncologists are physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. They determine the type and extent of cancer and provide treatments such as chemotherapy, hormonal, immunotherapy and targeted therapy. After treatment, they provide follow-up care to monitor progress

The Medical Oncologists of the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute are committed to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. They provide the latest and most advanced treatments and protocols available, while delivering compassionate care to improve the quality of life of their patients. Our physicians work closely with all cancer disciplines including surgical oncology and radiation oncology as well as other members of the care team such as our oncology certified nurses, oncology social workers and dedicated nutritionists

Through our clinical trials program, with over 25 years of ongoing National Cancer Institute support, our medical oncologists offer patients access to the latest molecular, immunologic and targeted cancer therapies.

Contact one of our North Shore-LIJ Medical Group Hematologist/Oncologist and Outpatient Chemotherapy Programs:

For Adults

Monter Cancer Center
450 Lakeville Road
Lake Success, NY 11042
(516) 734-8900

Long Island Jewish Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit
270-05 76th Avenue
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
(718/516) 470-8930

Nalitt Institute for Cancer and Blood-Related Disorders
256 Mason Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305
(718) 226-6400

For Children

Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York
269-01 76th Avenue
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Cancer Services: (718/516) 470-3460
General Information: (718/516) 470-3000

Nalitt Institute for Cancer and Blood-Related Disorders
256 Mason Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305
(718) 226-6400