How is Chemotherapy given?

Chemotherapy drugs or combinations are given in the sequence that has been proven to be most effective for a particular type and stage of cancer. Chemotherapy may be given intravenously (through a vein), in pill form (by mouth), through an injection (a shot), applied directly on the skin into the area around the tumor, or placed directly into the tumor site. 

Most often, chemotherapy is administered in an outpatient clinic on a regular schedule for a limited period of time. Occasionally, patients may receive a prescription for a chemotherapy medication to take at home, while other patients receive chemotherapy in a hospital. 

Questions for your Oncologist about chemotherapy: 
  • What are the names of the chemotherapy drug(s) I will be receiving?
  • How will I get these drugs (in an IV or a pill)?
  • How much time is there between treatments?
  • How long does each treatment last?
  • Should I plan to have help driving me to and from treatment appointments?
  • What side effects should I expect and how will we manage them?
  • Are there long term side effects that I should consider (i.e.: related to fertility or other issues)?

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