A central line can stay in the body over a long period of time. It will need to be flushed on a weekly to monthly basis to prevent blood clots from forming inside the central line.
Different chemotherapy drugs may be given at the same time or after each other. Radiation therapy may be received before, after, or during chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy is most often given in cycles. These cycles may last 1 day, several days, or a few weeks or more. There will usually be a rest period when no chemotherapy is given between each cycle. A rest period may last for days, weeks, or months. This allows the body and blood counts to recover before the next dose.
Often, chemotherapy is given at a special clinic or at the hospital. Some people are able to receive chemotherapy in their home. If home chemotherapy is given, home health nurses will help with the medicine and IVs. The person getting the chemotherapy and their family members will receive special training.
Have problems with thinking and memory ("chemo brain")
Side effects of chemotherapy depend on many things, including the type of cancer and which drugs are being used. Each person reacts differently to these drugs. Some newer chemotherapy drugs that better target cancer cells may cause fewer or different side effects.
Your health care provider will explain what you can do at home to prevent or treat side effects. These measures include:
Being careful with pets and other animals to avoid catching infections from them
Eating enough calories and protein to keep your weight up
Preventing bleeding, and what to do if bleeding occurs
Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.