Chemotherapy for anal cancer
Chemotherapy is a common treatment option for patients with anal cancer and is most often combined with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy drugs are designed to either destroy cancer cells or impede their ability to grow and reproduce. Chemotherapy along with radiation therapy is used mainly for anal cancers that likely would not be removed without damaging the sphincter.
Throughout your anal cancer treatment, your Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) care team continually monitors the effect of chemotherapy on the disease, with physical exams, blood tests, CT scans, MRI scans and chest X-rays.
We understand the potential side effects of chemotherapy are unpleasant and may include nausea, vomiting, hair loss and mouth sores. Your care team may use multiple measures to help reduce or moderate chemotherapy-related symptoms. Prior to receiving chemotherapy for anal cancer, you may receive pre-medications to help make side effects more tolerable.
During chemotherapy, your care team will provide supportive care services to help ease side effects. For example, our naturopathic clinicians may suggest supplements to reduce nausea. Also, a mind-body therapist may recommend mind-body techniques to help you relax and feel less anxious during your anal cancer chemotherapy treatments.