Chemotherapy uses drugs, called cytotoxic drugs, to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. There are many different types of chemotherapy drugs. Sometimes only one drug is used but often two or more drugs are given at the same time. This is called combination treatment.
It can also affect normal cells and when it does side effects can occur. The type of side effects that you may have will depend on your treatment. Not all treatments will have the same side effects.
The type of chemotherapy you are given depends on several factors, including the type of cancer you have, where in your body it started, what the cancer cells look like under the microscope and whether they have spread to other parts of the body.
Chemotherapy can be given intravenously, which is into the veins via a cannula or via a central line. Chemotherapy can also be given orally.
Other forms of drugs currently used in the treatment of cancer include hormonal treatment, immune system modulators, conjugated antibody therapies as well as other highly specialised drugs. You might take these drugs before or after surgery, with radiation treatment, or you might take the drugs by themselves.
You and your Doctor will decide on what Chemotherapy is best for your cancer. Together, we will plan a schedule that works for you.
If you decide to proceed with your treatment you will need to see the Registered Nurse on duty to make the appointments for your Chemotherapy and to coordinate the supply of medications. Chemotherapy drugs usually come from Sydney because of their highly specialised nature and preparation requirements.
You may take medications once a day, once a week, or even, once a month, depending on the type of cancer you have and the Chemotherapy you are taking. How long you take Chemotherapy also depends on the type of cancer and what length of time research has shown produces the best treatment results.
The number of times you are to receive Chemotherapy varies greatly between patients as does the duration of the treatment itself. Your Oncologist will be able to inform you of these details.
Intravenous (IV) Chemotherapy is considered an inpatient service. Prior to receiving your Chemotherapy treatment you must therefore be admitted into the Riverina Cancer Care Centre by the Registered Nurse on duty and then similarly discharged upon completion of your treatment.
When you arrive for your Chemotherapy you will need to report to front reception. A Registered Nurse will then admit you to the Centre for your treatment.
Riverina Cancer Care Centre has been designed to make you feel at ease during your treatment with comfortable recliner chairs and a warm, friendly atmosphere.
If you wish to voice any concerns about your treatment or symptoms, please ask to see your Oncologist or Nurse. An appointment will be arranged as soon as possible.