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Test Your Chemotherapy Knowledge

The goal of chemotherapy is to:

The correct answer is all of the above. Chemotherapy refers to cancer-killing medicines. These medicines can sometimes offer a cure. But even in incurable cases, chemotherapy can help slow the spread of cancer and relieve symptoms.

Chemotherapy is the best treatment for all forms of cancer.

The correct answer is false. Doctors often treat early-stage cancer without chemotherapy. Surgery followed by radiation therapy is standard for many early-stage cancers, including breast cancer. Your oncologist will recommend a treatment strategy based on the type and stage of your cancer.

Chemotherapy is given by:

The correct answer is any of the above. How you receive chemotherapy depends on the type of cancer and where it is found. If you need chemotherapy for a long period of time, doctors can put a thin catheter, called a central line, into a large vein. The catheter stays in place throughout treatment to make it easier to deliver the medicine.

Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles.

The correct answer is true. Chemotherapy is most often given in cycles. These cycles may last one day, several days, a few weeks, or more. There will usually be a rest period with no chemotherapy between each cycle. A rest period may last for days, weeks, or months. This allows your body to recover before the next dose.

Taking vitamins and dietary supplements during chemotherapy:

The correct answer is that supplements may be OK if you check with your doctor. Some vitamins, minerals, or herbs may change how chemotherapy affects your body. Make a list of any supplements you want to take and discuss it with your doctor.

Besides attacking cancer cells, chemotherapy may damage healthy cells in the:

The correct answer is all of the above. Chemotherapy medicines travel throughout your entire body. This means they may damage or kill some normal cells. Depending on which cells are damaged, side effects may include hair loss, nausea, anemia, fatigue, and greater risk of infection.

If you lose your hair during chemotherapy, it will never grow back.

The correct answer is false. If you lose your hair, it will most likely grow back 2 to 3 months after you finish chemotherapy. But it may not look the same as your old hair. It may have a different texture or color. Losing your hair can be difficult. Talk with your doctor about ways to deal with hair loss.

To cope with a poor appetite during chemotherapy:

The correct answer is eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Get the most out of each small meal by eating foods that are high in calories and protein. Set a schedule for your meals and eat even if you aren't hungry. Eating well helps your body fight your cancer.

To prevent infections during or soon after chemotherapy:

The correct answer is all of the above. Chemotherapy can make you more vulnerable to infection. Protect yourself by avoiding raw foods, unsanitary water, and crowds. Wash your hands with soap and water often, especially after handling food or doing housework.

It's impossible to work while receiving chemotherapy.

The correct answer is false. Many people continue working during chemotherapy. It helps if you can work from home or take a day off when your energy is low. State or federal laws may require your employer to let you adjust your work schedule during chemotherapy.

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