Most chemotherapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy drugs are given in one of the following ways:
- You might take a tablet or medicine orally (swallow). This can sometimes be collected by your local pharmacy after having an appointment with your doctor.
- It may be given intravenously as an injection over a short period of time or as an infusion over a longer period of time. For these treatments you come into the Blood and Cancer centre usually for part of the day.
You will see a doctor or nurse prior to having your treatment, each time you come in. They will assess your symptoms and how you felt after your last treatment.
- In most cases, for intravenous treatments, you will have a small needle put into your hand or arm for the treatment and it will be removed before you go home.
- In some cases people require a type of line in their veins that remains in there for the duration of their treatment. These are called central lines.
- Sometimes several different drugs are given, one after the other, as a part of your treatment regimen
You will be required to have regular blood tests throughout treatment to monitor that they are at a good level to proceed with your next treatment.
Some people may require supportive treatments alongside their cancer treatment, such as blood transfusions or bone strengthening treatment.
Some treatments, but not all, can make you feel sick. You will be given medication to stop this from happening.
Most people do not need to stay in hospital overnight to have their treatment, but some regimens do require this. Most people do not need to be admitted to hospital because they are unwell, but some people do. You will be taught what signs or symptoms you personally need to look out for and what symptoms may require you to come to hospital.
You will be given information about your treatment and contact numbers of who you can call if you have questions or concerns throughout treatment.