Understanding different types of Chemotherapy

What is it

Chemotherapy is drugs given to kill the growth of cancer cells and prevent spreading.

Cancer cells divide more quickly than healthy cells, and chemotherapy drugs effectively target those cells. Unfortunately, fast-growing cells that are healthy can be damaged too. There are many different chemotherapy drugs with the potential for many different side effects. These effects vary from person to person and from treatment to treatment.

Factors that play a role in side effects include

Other ongoing treatments

Previous health issues



Some patients experience few side effects while others feel quite ill. Although most side effects clear up shortly after treatment ends, some may continue well after chemotherapy has ended, and some may never go away.

  • Intravenous
    • PICC Line (Peripherally inserted central catheter line)
    • Port a cath, implantable port is a tube with a rubber disc at the end inserted into a vein.
    • Central line , A central line is a long, thin hollow tube. It is inserted into a vein in your chest
  • Orally
  • Injection
  • Cream

The drugs can be given by inserting a tube with a needle into a vein in your arm or into a n implantable device with a line into the vena cava in your chest. Some chemotherapy drugs can be taken in pill or capsule form, injection directly in a site, muscle, superficially under the skin or in a cream to use topically for skin cancer.

The frequency of the treatment may be given in many variations of, for instance weekly for 6 or every other week there are many variations.

Patients can spend many hours in the chemotherapy day unit waiting for the drugs to drip into the veins.

Chemotherapy Types

Chemotherapy can be excreted through the skin through sweat, when massaging hygiene is very important washing your hands Before & After treatment and wearing gloves within 72 hours of clients receiving chemotherapy .The most common chemotherapy that can be excreted through the skin are Methoxotrate, Cytosine, Cyclophosphamide and Cytoxan which is the most popular one you will encounter, there are many others.

Pregnant therapists avoid massaging a client on the drug Thiotepa without gloves. Thiotepa is harmful to the foetus. It is extremely rare therapists will come into contact or be asked to massage someone who is on thiotepa therapy.

Patients are given instructions to shower 2-3 times a day in the 48 hours following treatment. They are usually on a combination of drugs 5-10 each with their own side effects.

Chemotherapy drugs are most likely to affect fast growing cells in the body common areas to be affected are the digestive tract, hair follicles, bone marrow, mouth, and reproductive system. However, cells in any part of the body may be damaged.


The most common side effects are nausea and fatigue when this hits a high point, patients think about stopping chemotherapy treatment to relieve themselves from

Research has found that a relaxation programme including massage reduces the side effects of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.