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Preparing for Chemotherapy

Preparing for Chemotherapy

At Cancer Care, we are committed to caring for you. Education – helping you understand and prepare for your treatment – is an important part of our cancer treatment program.

As part of the pretreatment education provided to each patient during the teaching session, we'll give you an overview of your treatment plan. You will receive information on each chemotherapy medication that will outline the most common side effects and precautions. Please read this information and share it with your family.

If you haven't received an information guide, please ask your treating nurse for one. Modern chemotherapy is very safe but you can contribute to your care by following our directions and being aware of things to watch for.

As part of your teaching session, insurance pre-authorization will be obtained. Many insurances require a chemotherapy co-payment which we will request before treatment to allow us to purchase the drug with which you will be treated.

Many of our chemotherapy treatments require medication to be given prior to treatment to minimize side effects including allergic type reactions and nausea. Please pick up these medications from your pharmacy and bring them in with you so we can review them during your teaching session.

The large majority of our treatments are given with medications that are very effective preventing nausea. We suggest that you eat a light breakfast and then have light meals or snacks during the remainder of your first treatment day. Some chemotherapy drugs require extra fluid intake before treatment. Others require extra fluid intake after treatment. These types of instructions will be reviewed with you during your teaching session. If you have any questions or if you are uncertain about the directions, please don't hesitate to ask us for clarification.

It's generally recommended that you continue your usual prescription medications when taking chemotherapy. However the National Cancer institutes recommends that vitamins and supplements be stopped since they can interfere with effectiveness of chemotherapy against cancer cells and also to limit side effects. There are a few chemotherapy treatments that require a vitamin or supplement and we will instruct you on those.

Please arrange transportation, especially for your first treatment. Some of our chemotherapy infusions require medications that can make you drowsy for several hours and you should not drive.