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What is Chemotherapy (Chemo)?

The Florida Hospital Cancer Institute offers the latest and most effective treatments for cancer, including chemotherapy in Orlando for residents of Central Florida and the surrounding regions. Chemotherapy (chemo) is a cancer treatment that uses drugs and medications to stop the growth of cancer cells by either destroying them outright, or preventing them from dividing. Chemotherapy is most often administered intravenously, but might also be provided orally or injected. The goal of chemotherapy is to disable cancer cells without seriously damaging surrounding tissues and organs. Various methods are used to limit the travel of chemotherapy agents so they don't damage healthy cells. To learn more about chemotherapy in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

Types of Chemotherapy (Chemo) Treatment

Chemotherapy (chemo) can be used in three different ways to help treat gastrointestinal (stomach) cancer:

  • Chemo may be administered before surgery for gastrointestinal (stomach) cancer. This is called neoadjuvant treatment, and may shrink the tumor, making it easier to remove during surgery. Chemotherapy before surgery can also help keep cancer cells from returning, enabling patients to live longer and healthier lives. 
  • In some instances, chemo may be recommended after surgery to help remove the cancer. This is called adjuvant treatment. The goal of this type of chemo treatment is to kill any cancer cells that were left behind after surgery but are too small to see. Chemotherapy treatment after surgery can also help keep the cancer from returning. In many cases, stomach cancer will be treated with a combination of chemo and radiation therapy after surgery, called chemoradiation. 
  • Depending on your specific case of gastrointestinal (stomach) cancer, your physician may recommmend chemotherapy as the primary treatment in order to help shrink the cancer or slow its spread to other organs. Chemotherapy as a primary treatment for gastrointestinal (stomach) cancer may help relieve symptoms for some patients and help them live longer. 
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Possible Side Effects of Chemotherapy

In some cases, your physician may recommmend treating certain tumors (known as high-grade tumors), with more than one drug. In these cases, combinations of a drug called etoposide plus carboplatin or temozolomide plus capecitabine may be used. These types of chemotherapy drugs do kill cancer cells but also damage some normal cells in the process. This is inevitable and may cause somme side effects, depending on the type of drugs, the amount taken, and the duration of treatment. Some short-term side effects of chemotherapy may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Low blood counts
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Request an Appointment

To learn more about chemotherapy in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

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