Did you know that when you get chaemotherapy, you will get a treatment plan that is tailor-made just for you?
The type of treatment you’ll get will depend on the type of cancer, where exactly it is and the stage of development of the cancer. The oncologist will also take into account whether the cancer has spread, your general health and the purpose of the treatment – to cure or to relieve symptoms.
Research into cancer treatments goes on all the time, and new treatment regimes are always being developed. What that means is that your experience of chaemo may be different to any one else’s.
So, what happens when you get chaemo? It may be administered directly into a vein, it may be given to you in the form of a pill, you may get an injection or it may be applied directly to your skin.
The most common form of administration is through a vein. A thin needle is inserted into a vein on the hand or lower arm. This needle is removed once the chemotherapy has been completed. Chemotherapy can also be given intravenously by means of catheters, ports and pumps. A port is a round plastic or metal chamber that is placed under the skin. It is connected via a thin tube to one of the major vessels in the chest cavity. This method is more permanent and can be used for as long as necessary.
Most patients receive chemotherapy as out-patients in the oncology unit and do not need to be admitted to hospital.