Chemotherapy and You
A Guide to Self-Help During Treatment
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute
This guide will help you, your family, and your friends understand chemotherapy,
the use of drugs to treat cancer. It will answer many of the questions you
may have about this method of cancer treatment. It also will show you how
you can help yourself during chemotherapy.
Taking care of yourself during chemotherapy is important for several reasons.
For one thing, it can lessen some of the physical side effects you may have
from your treatment. As you will see, some simple tips can make a big difference
in how you feel. But the benefits of self-help aren't just physical; they're
psychological, too. Knowing some ways to take care of yourself can give
your emotions a boost at a time when you may be feeling that much of what's
happening to you is out of your control. This feeling can be easier to deal
with when you discover how you can contribute to your own well-being, in
partnership with your doctors and nurses.
Chemotherapy and You will help you become an informed partner in
your care. Remember, though, it is only a guide. Self-help is never a substitute
for professional medical care. Be sure to ask your doctor and nurse any
questions about chemotherapy, and tell them about any side effects you may
You will find several helpful sections in this guide. "Paying for Chemotherapy"
gives you information about insurance and other payment methods. "Resources"
tells you how to get more information about cancer and to locate services
available to cancer patients and their families. Words printed in bold can
be clicked on to see definitions in the "Glossary." The "Glossary"
explains many terms related to cancer and chemotherapy.
A free series of fact sheets on anticancer drugs is available from the National
Cancer Institute. (See "Resources." )