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Biologics (also known as Targeted Therapies)

Questions To Ask About Biologics

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  • What drugs will I have? 
    • What will they do?
    • How?
  • When will treatment start? When will it end? 
  • How often will I have treatments?
    • Treatment schedules vary. Biological therapy may be given once a day or a couple of times a day. Others are given less often--sometimes once a week, or perhaps just once every month or two. 
    • Your doctor will tell you how often you will get your treatment and how long you will need to be on it.
  • Where will I go for treatment? 
    • The biologics used to treat colorectal cancer are currently given through an IV, and you must go to the hospital or clinic to get  the infusion. If this is the case, find out how long you will need to stay at the hospital or clinic.
  • Will I be able to drive home after treatment?
  • How will we know the treatment is working?
  • What side effects should I expect? Just like other forms of cancer treatment, biological therapy sometimes causes side effects. Side effects can include:
    • Rashes on the face and body with some of the EGFR treatments
    • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, bone pain, and muscle aches. (For information about how to cope with these side effects, see the documents in "To Learn More")
  • Which side effects should I tell you about?
  • Will there be long-term effects?
  • What can I do to take care of myself during treatment?
  • Should I change any of my normal activities or eating habits ?
  • How much will the treatment cost? Talk with your nurse, social worker, or doctor about the cost of your treatment. Make sure to ask if your insurance company pays for biological therapy.

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