Before, during, and after Chemotherapy
Preparing for Chemotherapy
Because Chemotherapy is a serious treatment for a serious condition, it is crucial to plan ahead before the therapy begins. Your doctor and staff at the hospital will help you anticipate possible treatment-related issues. You will undergo a series of tests before you start chemotherapy, to help determine if you are healthy enough for the therapy. You will require heart and Blood Test tests to assess the kidney and liver health. These tests will guide your doctor when deciding what kinds of Chemotherapy can be used for you.
Your doctor may also suggest that you visit your dentist before treatment begins. As Chemotherapy affects the ability of your body to heal, any infection in your gums or teeth may potentially spread all over your body. If you are receiving Chemotherapy via an intravenous ( IV ) line, your doctor may install a port. It is a device that is implanted in your body, typically near your shoulder in your chest. This makes it easier to enter the veins and less painful. The IV line will be inserted into your port over each treatment.
Consider these preparation tips for Chemotherapy treatment:
- Make work arrangements. During chemotherapy, most people can work, but you may want to put yourself on a lighter workload until you know what kinds of side effects you may have.
- Get your house ready. Stock up on groceries, do your laundries and perform other tasks before starting chemotherapy, as you may be too weak to do these after Chemotherapy.
- Arrange whatever help you may need. It can be incredibly helpful to have a friend or family member to assist with household tasks or to look after pets or babies
- Anticipate side effects. Talk with your doctor about potential side effects and how to prepare appropriately. If infertility can be a side effect and you want to conceive a child, you might want to store sperm, eggs or fertilized embryos and freeze them. If Hair loss is likely, you may want to buy head-covers or wigs.
- Become part of a support group. Talking to someone outside your family and about what you are going through can help you stay optimistic. This will also help to ease any concerns that you may have about medication.
You and your doctor can work together to consider all variables and determine the best course of your treatment. Chemotherapy is usually given in the form of a pill or by injection or an IV directly into the veins. It may also be administered in several other ways, in addition to these two forms.
Chemotherapy administering options include:
Chemotherapy can be administered directly into the tumour, depending on the location of the tumour. If you have to undergo Surgery to remove the tumour, your doctor can, over time, implant slow-dissolving disks that release medicines. Chemotherapy creams can be used to treat some skin cancers. They can be applied directly on the skin. Chemotherapy may be delivered through localized treatment to a specific part of the body, such as directly into the abdomen, chest, central nervous system or through the urethra into the bladder. Some forms of Chemotherapy can be taken as pills by mouth. Drugs for liquid Chemotherapy may be delivered in single shots, or you may have a port. On the first visit, the infusion method with a port may involve discomfort at the injection site, but the port needle will loosen gradually. Where you get treatment depends on the delivery system you have chosen.
If you are using creams or tablets, for example, you can give yourself home treatments. Other procedures usually take place in a hospital or Cancer Treatment centre. Nowadays Chemotherapy can be taken at home itself. Your Chemotherapy schedule will be personalized to suit you, as will how frequently you undergo medication. It can be changed if your body does not respond to the treatment well, or it can be increased or decreased depending on how well the cancer cells respond to treatments.
Your health care provider will track the efficacy of your medications regularly. These will include imaging, blood testing and possibly more. Your health care team can adjust your treatment at any time. The more you will share how Chemotherapy impacts you with your doctor, the better the care experience will be. You must tell them about any side effects or treatment-related issues you are having so they can adjust to your treatment if necessary.