Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses strong drugs to treat cancer or help relieve symptoms. It is also called “chemo.” It can destroy cancer cells, stop cancer cells from spreading, and slow the growth of cancer cells.

Chemotherapy can be given alone or with other treatments. It can also help other treatments work better. For example, you may get chemotherapy before or after surgery or radiation therapy. Or you may get chemotherapy before a peripheral blood stem cell transplant.

If you or a loved one is starting chemotherapy, you can register for our Chemotherapy 101 class or learn more about our Infusion Center. Below are some frequently asked questions about chemotherapy. Also, watch our Introduction to Chemotherapy video to learn more about this treatment:

Frequently Asked Questions about Chemotherapy

How is chemotherapy given?
How do doctors decide which chemotherapy drugs to use?
Where do I go for chemotherapy?
How often will I get chemotherapy?
Does chemotherapy cause any side effects?
Where can I get more information?

How is chemotherapy given?

Chemotherapy can be given in different ways:

  • By vein (through an IV in your arm or chest)
  • By mouth (in pill, capsule, or liquid form)
  • By applying on the surface of the skin (for some types of skin cancer)

Depending on the type of treatment, chemotherapy may last anywhere from minutes to several hours. Read our chemotherapy factsheet to learn more about what to expect for your chemotherapy appointments.

How do doctors decide which chemotherapy drugs to use?

The chemotherapy drugs you receive depend on the type and stage of cancer you have. Some drugs are used for many cancers, while others are used only to treat specific types of cancer. Your treatment also depends on whether you have had chemotherapy before or if you have other health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

As a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) uses the most current cancer treatments available. Learn more about national treatment guidelines and how cancer treatments are developed through clinical trials.

Where do I go for chemotherapy?

HCI patients get chemotherapy in the Infusion Center or at HCI’s South Jordan Health Center location.

Other types of chemotherapy are given while staying in the hospital or at home.

How often will I get chemotherapy?

Your doctor will prescribe a schedule for you. Most people get chemotherapy in cycles, which is a period of treatment followed by a period of rest. For example, you may receive one week of daily chemotherapy followed by three weeks of rest. These four weeks make up one cycle. The rest period gives the body a chance to build new, healthy cells.

Does chemotherapy cause any side effects?

The side effects you feel depend on the chemotherapy you receive. The way you feel during treatment may be very different from someone else. Side effects are common to many chemotherapy drugs. Many of them can be prevented or controlled with medicines or other measures. Learn more about common side effects.

Where can I get more information?

Visit the infusion website for more chemotherapy education and resources. Also, visit the G. Mitchell Morris Cancer Learning Center (CLC), HCI’s free cancer information service and lending library. It is located on the sixth floor of the cancer hospital and is open to the public Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The CLC offers four easy ways to get cancer-related information:

  • Call toll free 1-888-424-2100
  • Visit the sixth floor of the cancer hospital
  • E-mail cancerinfo@hci.utah.edu
  • Text “askhci” to 66746

Neeraj Agarwal, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Genitourinary Cancers, Oncology, Urologic Oncology

Wallace L. Akerley, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266

Specialties: Lung Cancer, Medical Oncology, Metastatic Disease, Oncology

Robert Hans Ingemar Andtbacka, M.D., C.M.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 587-8808

Specialties: Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors, Melanoma Surgery, Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology, Oncology, Oncology Surgery, Sarcoma, Soft Tissue Sarcoma Surgery, Soft Tissue Sarcomas, Surgery, General

Chanteel A. Ballard, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Meredith S. Bannon, PA-C

Specialties: Oncology, Physician Assistant

Julia A. Batten, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Bernadette J. Bittner, APRN

Specialties: Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Annie Budhathoki, M.S., LAc

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 587-4585

Specialties: Acupuncture, Oncology, Oriental Medicine, Pain Medicine & Palliative Care

Saundra S. Buys, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4269

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Oncology

Laura J. Cannon, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4398

Specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Amie Clark, APRN, FNP

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-6906
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4630

Specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Hematology/BMT, Oncology

Adam L. Cohen, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4269
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0260

Specialties: Brain Tumors, Breast Cancer, Gynecologic Oncology, Neuro-Oncology, Oncology, Spinal Cord Tumors

Joan Collett, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266

Specialties: Oncology

Sarah V. Colonna, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0303

Specialties: Oncology

Rosemary Conder, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4269

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Family Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Cynthia Davidson, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4358

Specialties: Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

William A. Dunson, Jr., M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4251

Specialties: Internal Medicine, General, Oncology

Emily I. Erickson, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4398

Specialties: Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, M.D., Ph.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0193

Specialties: Biliary Cancer, Colon Cancer, Medical Oncology, Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer

Glynn Gilcrease III, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4358

Specialties: Oncology

Martha J. Glenn, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0100
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-6906

Specialties: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Hematology/BMT, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Leukemia, Lymphomas, Lymphoproliferative Diseases, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Oncology

Erin Goodfellow, PA-C

Specialties: Critical Care, Oncology, Physician Assistant, Pulmonary

Kenneth F. Grossmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0206

Specialties: Oncology

Esther L. Kannapel, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Hung T. Khong, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4269
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0206
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0209

Specialties: Oncology

Kristin E. Knopf, APRN

Specialties: Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Patricia Legant, M.D., Ph.D.

Locations
South Jordan Health Center (801) 213-4319

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Colon and Rectal Cancer, Esophagus and Stomach Cancers, Oncology, Ovarian Cancer

Brighton Loveday, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Nurse Practitioner, Oncology, Pain Medicine & Palliative Care

Julie Bylund Luckart, FNP, APRN, M.S.N.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266

Specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Lung Cancer, Oncology

Carolyn Luckett, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0206

Specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Cheryl McGovern, PA-C

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4448

Specialties: Oncology, Physician Assistant

Grace A. Noda, P.A.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-4398

Specialties: Oncology, Physician Assistant

Nicole G. Orgain, PA-C, M.P.A.S.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0262

Specialties: Oncology, Physician Assistant

Josef T. Prchal, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-6906
Veterans Administration Medical Center (801) 582-1565

Specialties: Anemia, Hematology/BMT, Myeloproliferative Disorders, Oncology, Thrombocythemia

Robert A. Serpico, PA-C

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-5418

Specialties: Oncology, Physician Assistant

Paul J. Shami, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0100

Specialties: Hematology/BMT, Leukemia, Myelodysplasia, Oncology

Sunil Sharma, M.B.A., M.D., FACP

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4266

Specialties: Clinical Scientist, Colon Cancer, Liver Cancer, Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer

Sean P. Strope, M.P.A.S.

Specialties: Brain Tumors, Oncology, Physician Assistant

Brittany A. Thomas, PA-C

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 587-8808

Specialties: Oncology, Physician Assistant

Jared Thorley, APRN, M.S.N., FNP, BSN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Joan K. Van Atta, APRN

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0100

Specialties: Nurse Practitioner, Oncology

Junfeng Wang, B.Med.Sci., Dr. med.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Oncology

John H. Ward, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 213-4269

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Oncology

John R. Weis, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Institute (801) 585-0262

Specialties: Colon Cancer, Oncology, Pancreatic Cancer

Theresa L. Werner, M.D.

Locations
Huntsman Cancer Hospital (801) 585-0250

Specialties: Breast Cancer, Gynecologic Oncology, Medical Oncology, Oncology

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