Chemotherapy for stomach cancer
In highly selective cases, chemotherapy may be given before the patient undergoes surgery. This is called neoadjuvant therapy. For example, if you have few cancerous lymph nodes and the disease has not spread to the liver or other organs, your medical oncologist may consider administering stomach cancer chemotherapy prior to surgery. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may help shrink the tumor. Radiation may also be used in combination with chemotherapy as a neoadjuvant therapy.
Chemotherapy may be used in combination with surgery and radiation therapy to treat stomach cancer. Chemotherapy drugs work to either destroy cancer cells, or impede their ability to grow and reproduce.
At our hospitals, we are developing innovative therapies personalized to the care of each stomach cancer patient. Our medical oncologists work closely with stomach cancer patients to determine if chemotherapy is an appropriate treatment option. Among the standard-of-care chemotherapy drugs used to treat stomach cancer are:
Throughout your stomach 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 and imaging.
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 stomach 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 chemotherapy treatments.