All about Chemotherapy

By Dr. Bhuvan Chugh in Medical Oncology

Feb 16 , 2021 | 2 min read

What is Chemotherapy?

• Chemotherapy is a form of treatment used in the management of cancer. It is usually given after mixing in the liquid solution (saline/dextrose solution) intravenously (through the veins).

• Chemotherapy can be given in oral form (tablets) or via alternate routes (eg. In peritoneal cavity – HIPEC Surgery).

• The cancer chemotherapy procedure is not painful. No anesthesia is given during the chemotherapy procedure.

What is an Oncology Daycare?

• Private cabins with recliners with bright and lively ambience. 

• Team of doctors, oncology trained nurses, chemotherapy trained pharmacists & dedicated support staff.

• The patients get admitted in the daycare for administration of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy, and supportive therapy.

• Patients are discharged on the same day after the scheduled therapy is over.

• You would not need to wait in the queues for either admission or discharge process.

• Personalized care is given to every patient by the team of trained staff.

• Nutrition, psychologist, and physiotherapist support is made available as per patient requirement.

Instructions before Chemotherapy

• You can eat/drink before coming to the hospital.

• You may be advised to take certain pre-medications (oral drugs) at home prior to your chemotherapy.

What to expect on the day of chemotherapy

• You will be requested to get admitted in daycare at the specified time as communicated by the team.

• You will be required to get a few blood tests done before every chemotherapy session and share the report with your doctor/coordinator a day prior.

• After you are comfortably seated, vital parameters will be checked (Height/Weight/Pulse/BP/Oxygen saturation), and pre-chemotherapy assessment will be done.

• Procedure will be explained to you and you will be requested to sign the Informed consent form before the procedure.

• Oncology trained nursing staff will secure IV access, following which pre-medications (non chemotherapy drugs to avoid nausea/vomiting/allergic reactions) will be administered.

• Once chemotherapy drugs are admixed by a trained pharmacist in the biosafety cabinet, these will be administered as per protocol.

• Nutrition/Physiotherapy/ Psychology support will be given as per patient requirement.

• Food and beverages are served to the patients during the chemotherapy.

• You will be discharged after chemotherapy is over with a detailed discharge summary, and other instructions to be followed at home.

General Instructions after chemotherapy

• Please follow dietary instructions as advised by your doctor/dietician and drink plenty of fluids.

• It is advisable to consume hygienic home cooked food.

• You may experience chemotherapy associated side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea at home. Minor ones are expected and please follow the instructions given in the separate information leaflet handed over to you.

• You are advised to contact the team or visit the hospital if required.