Chemotherapy uses a variety of chemicals to stop the cancer cells from reproducing. The therapy itself is generally effective but also harms healthy cells in the process. Intravenous is the most common delivery used for chemotherapy.
The type of drugs given through IV depends on the patient's illness and severity. The length of treatment also depends on the patient's specific needs and their response to the drugs used.
There are three types of treatment lengths:
- Short infusion may last a few minutes or as long as 8 hours. This type of treatment is given primarily as an outpatient procedure.
- Long infusion may last for 8 hours or more and generally requires an overnight hospital stay.
- Continuous infusion may last for days or weeks at a time. These medications are delivered via a portable medication pump that can be worn at home, allowing patients to receive chemotherapy while continuing their normal daily activities at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I take for aches and pains caused by the chemotherapy?
A: Most people find that Motrin as directed on the bottle for 2-3 days after chemo works the best.
Q: When should I start my nausea medication?
A: We recommend you start taking Phenergan® the night you have received chemo and continue to take it every 8 hours for 2-3 days after chemo even if you do not feel nauseated. This will help prevent a large portion of your nausea.
Q: Why do I have to take the Neulasta® injection?
A: Chemotherapy will destroy several of your white blood cell's (immune system) and Neulasta® reinforces your body to make new ones so that you can fight infections.