Depending on the stage of sarcoma, chemotherapy may be given as an addition to surgery.
Chemotherapy is one of the longest used and most common treatments for cancer. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow and reproduce. A combination of chemotherapy medicines is typically used to fight a sarcoma.
While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating sarcomas, 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.
- Directly into the bloodstream, or intravenously (also called IV).
- Topically (applied to the skin).
- Directly into a body cavity.
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.
Also, this treatment 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 the diagnosis, treatment and more of sarcoma, visit our sarcoma information pages below.