Chemotherapy

Inspira’s board certified and fellowship trained medical oncologists provide advanced expertise in chemotherapy, including oral chemotherapy, and Immunotherapy. Chemotherapy, commonly referred to as chemo, is the use of chemical compounds (drugs) that kill cancer cells used to treat cancer. Chemotherapy is a traditional form of cancer treatment dating back to the 1950s, and there are medications that have been tested and used many times. There are many types of chemo drugs, some intravenous, others are pills, and your doctor will determine which drugs to administer based on the type, stage and severity of your cancer, as well as your overall health and ability to tolerate these medications. At times, genetic testing can be used to determine the best drug option or overall treatment option for you.

In some cases, chemotherapy is the only method of treatment needed to keep cancer from spreading, make the cancer grow slower, shrink tumors or cure cancer. Oftentimes chemo is used in conjunction with other therapies such as surgery or procedures, such as radiation therapy.

How Chemotherapy is Administered

Depending on your specific cancer, your chemotherapy treatments may be given in the following ways:
  • As an oral pill or liquid
  • As an injection directly into the muscle or tissue
  • Directly into the bloodstream (intravenously or IV)
  • Directly into a body cavity, such as the stomach (intracavity chemo)
  • Into your spinal canal
  • Directly into the bladder (intravesical)
  • Into a main artery that "feeds" the tumor (intra-arterial)
  • Through a needle into the tumor (intralesional)
  • Applied topically (on the skin)

Chemo is commonly administered intravenously in cycles to give the body a chance to rest and recover. These chemo cycles may be given daily, weekly, every few weeks or monthly. Since it is hard to predict how you will feel after chemo, it is important to have someone accompany you so they can help you get home safely. If you do not have a support person, your Inspira cancer coordinator, social work and other team members can help connect you with needed services.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating certain cancers, chemotherapy drugs reach and impact all parts of the body, not just the cancer cells. Because of this, there can be many side effects during treatment. The use of newer and more targeted medications as well as the availability of supportive medications can sometimes lessen symptoms. Your care team at Inspira will work to proactively manage any side effects of treatment. Being able to anticipate these side effects can help you and your caregivers prepare and, in some cases, prevent these symptoms from occurring.

The most common side effects of chemotherapy include, but are not limited to:
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Increased risk for infection
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Mouth and throat sores
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss
  • Skin and nail changes
  • Nerve damage
  • No desire to eat
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Changes in your memory or thinking

Many of these side effects can be prevented or managed with treatment, and most will subside after treatment ends.

Chemotherapy at Inspira is offered in a calming setting at each of the following South Jersey locations:
If you’d like more information about your or a loved one’s cancer care, or to receive a second opinion about a diagnosis, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

Why Choose Inspira?

Advanced Technology Meets Compassionate Support

We combine cutting-edge medical technology with a human touch, allowing us to provide expert care. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained oncology physicians are well-versed in the latest cancer treatments and are equipped with advanced technologies that can increase your chances for a successful recovery. We also understand that navigating the ups and downs of life with cancer can be overwhelming, which is why we provide a built-in support system of social workers, counselors, navigators, registered dieticians and behavioral health specialists so you and your family don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone.

A Comprehensive Approach to Cancer Care

Inspira’s oncology physicians take a multi-faceted approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating cancer by looking at your condition from a holistic perspective. Whether you’re just beginning treatment or are a cancer-free survivor, we take everything—genetics, lifestyle habits and other risk factors—into account when designing your care plan. By treating the whole person rather than just the disease itself, we’re able to offer a more targeted, personalized experience.

Access to Clinical Trials

Inspira participates in clinical trials to explore new ways to prevent, detect, or treat cancer. Clinical trials can also focus on other aspects of care, such as improving the quality of life for people with cancer. Participants help others and may also benefit from receiving the newest treatment along with additional care and attention from the clinical trial staff.

Cancer Services Close to Home

Residents of South Jersey need not travel far to get the best in cancer care—with multiple facilities in the region, Inspira delivers a full breadth of cancer services close to where you live. When you’re not distracted by a long commute to your medical provider, you have more energy to focus on what’s important: healing and getting your life back.