How chemotherapy is done?

As a layman has never show me how the process of the Chemotherapy is done. According to Joel W. Goldwein, MD & Carolyn Vachani, who once wrote at that Chemotherapy can be done in several ways.

  • For oral (by mouth, in the form of a pill)
  • Street intravenously (IV via a vein, as a short infusion or continuously for one or more days)
  • As an injection or needle
  • Direct in a hole (e.g., bladder, abdominal cavity)
  • In the arterially (in special cases, as part of the perfusion treatment of malignant melanoma)

Doctors often combine specific and non-specific chemotherapies so that they complement each other and work together. This combination of different drugs is called a "regime". These systems are often based on first letter of the names of the medicines used in them. For instance, CHOP, a common lymphoma consisting of cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Adriamycin (hydroxydoxorubicin), oncovin (vincristine) and prednisone. This combination is available in "cycles" (blocks of time). For example, a cycle of 21 days may be used, and in the case of CHOP, cytoxan, Adriamycin and oncovin given on day 1, prednisolone 1-5 days followed by 16 days rest (no treatment), for a total of 21 days and then starts again with the next stage.

Chemotherapy is a systemic therapy, meaning that it travels throughout the body, unlike surgery or radiation, as "local" treatments. Doctors also use terms to describe when chemotherapy is the sequence of operations:

  • Adjuvant therapy: treatment after surgery to reduce the risk of cancer returning.
  • Neo-adjuvant therapy: therapy given before surgery to reduce the tumor, then surgery to become more effective.
  • Co-treatment: When 2 or more treatments are given together, such as chemotherapy and radiation.


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