Chemotherapy is one of the longest used and most common treatments for cancer. It is sometimes used if prostate cancer has spread outside of the prostate gland.
In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow and reproduce. For some types of cancer, chemotherapy may be used alone or in combination with other treatments such as radiation or surgery.
While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, the medicines reach all parts of the body, not just the cancer cells. There can be many side effects during treatment, and being prepared for these side effects can help you and your caregivers manage them effectively.
Chemotherapy can be given in various ways, such as:
- A pill to swallow.
- An injection (shot) into the muscle or fat tissue.
Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles in order to allow healthy cells the time to recover. Treatment may be given daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly, depending on your situation.
Chemotherapy is typically given in an outpatient setting. This includes a hospital, clinic or healthcare provider's office.
Patients are encouraged to take along something that is comforting to occupy their time during treatment. Since it is hard to predict how a patient will feel after treatment, it is important that the patient has arrangements to have someone drive them to and from their appointment.
For more information on diagnosis, treatment and more of prostate cancer, visit our prostate cancer information pages below.