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How Is Chemotherapy Administered?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 20, 2012
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Chemotherapy (chemo) is a medical treatment for cancer, in which medical drugs are used to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy sessions are done along with surgical operation, or radiation therapy, or biological therapy. Chemotherapy can be administered in various settings, which include hospital, clinic, or home in regular treatment cycles.

Chemotherapy Administration

  • There are a several techniques to deliver chemotherapy; a requisite way is prescribed by health care provider after assessment of one’s medical condition.
  • Chemotherapy can be administered in numerous ways, which include pills, injections. Most prevalent way of chemotherapy administration is intravenous, although, oral chemotherapy drugs are gaining acceptance nowadays.
  • A venous access device (VAD) can also be used to administer chemotherapy. The device is inserted into a major vein in the body as it remains there for a long span. It is done for the cancer patients undergoing frequent blood tests and nutritional support. The device helps to reduce use multiple needle sticks and the associated discomfort.
  • Chemotherapy drugs can be given in several ways. A session either consists of single drug dosage, or combination of drugs in various cycles. A chemo session may limit to just one drug, and thereafter followed by a period of rest.


How is Chemotherapy Given?

  • Injection – Chemotherapy can be given by a shot in the fat part of your arm muscle, leg muscle, or belly. Intra-muscular injections have a larger needle, which is penetrated deep to deposit medication in the muscle tissue.
  • Intra-arterial (IA) – Drug is delivered to the artery that feeds the cancer.
  • Intraperitoneal (IP) – Dosage is given to the peritoneal cavity, area containing organs such as your intestines, stomach, liver, and ovaries.
  • Intravenous (IV) – Dosage is delivered to the veins. Intravenous administration of therapy enables immediate entry of medication into the body's circulation, where it is carried throughout the body in the blood stream.
  • Topically – Chemotherapy can also be delivered through a cream that you rub onto your skin.
  • Orally – Pills, capsules or liquids that you swallow is another way that chemotherapy could be given. Oral chemo is done if a protective coating breaks down digestive juices in the stomach. Medication gets dissolved and absorbed through the lining of stomach.


Chemotherapy administration is critical follow-up, as an individual may encounter side effects such as nausea, hair loss, weight loss, digestive problems and fatigue. Therefore, chemotherapy administration involves health provider stick to specific chemo drugs for anti-cancer action that don’t render any side-effects.

 


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