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5 things to know before your first chemotherapy treatment

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Undergoing chemotherapy can be a daunting and stressful experience, but being informed and prepared can help make the process a little easier. Here are 5 things to know before your first chemotherapy treatment session:

What to Expect

Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from dividing. These drugs can be administered in various ways, such as orally, intravenously, or through injection. It's important to discuss with your healthcare team the specific details of your chemotherapy regimen, including the type of drugs you will be receiving, how they will be administered, and the expected duration of treatment.

Potential Side Effects

Chemotherapy can cause a range of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, and an increased risk of infection. It's important to discuss with your healthcare team how to manage these side effects, as well as any other concerns you may have.

Coping Strategies

Coping with chemotherapy can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. It's important to find ways to manage stress and maintain a positive attitude. Some coping strategies include exercise, relaxation techniques, and seeking support from friends, family, and healthcare professionals.

Nutrition and Hydration

Chemotherapy can affect your appetite and ability to eat and drink, so it's important to maintain proper nutrition and hydration during treatment. This may involve eating smaller, more frequent meals, or using supplements if needed. Discuss with your healthcare team any dietary concerns or needs you may have.


Chemotherapy treatment sessions are long and prone to causing fatigue. Before your first treatment session, arrange to have a partner, family member, or friend to help you get home after treatment.

We hope this information is helpful as you prepare for chemotherapy treatment. Remember to speak with your healthcare team about any specific concerns or questions you may have.


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