Chemotherapy is usually given in an outpatient setting known as a chemotherapy day care. The day-care unit will cater for patients who are receiving infusions over a short duration (generally 2-6 hours). Chemo is administered in cycles depending on the type of cancer, the goal of treatment and the way the body is responding.
Chemotherapy treatments may be given daily, weekly or monthly but is usually given in 3 weekly cycles. Chemo treatment is given based on schedule and 3 weeks rest period is given that enables the normal cells in the repair and regain strength.
Mostly chemotherapy is given directly into the blood stream through an intravenous catheter. Intravenous drugs may be given in different ways:
Continuous chemo treatment can damage veins, therefore, chemotherapy can be given through different methods. Central venous catheters are larger than IV catheters and therefore can be put in larger veins. This eliminates repeated poking due to intravenous catheter as the central venous catheters are indwelling for longer periods (6months – 1 year). There are different types of central venous catheters(chemoports) which are inserted either in the chest or arm.