Here is a brief description of what happens during the administration of chemotherapy, to help you prepare for your treatment.
The goals of chemotherapy are to:
- eliminate the tumour
- shrink the tumour
- prevent cancer from spreading
- relieve symptoms from cancer, such as pain.
Chemotherapy can be administered:
- intravenously (IV)
- by pill
- through injection
- through an intravenous (IV) infusion pump
If you are going to be given chemotherapy intravenously, you will be given an appointment date and time, to be confirmed closer to the time. A registered nurse will administer the chemotherapy . The nurse will also review your treatment plan and the potential side effects.
Treatment can take several minutes, to several hours, up to a full day, depending on the protocol.
Some patients go home with a continuous chemotherapy IV infusion pump.
If your therapy is to be given in the form of pills, you will be given an appointment to meet the pharmacist who will give you your prescription, review the side effects of the chemotherapy pills, and reinforce who and when to call for medical advice.