- Cancer Information
- Cancer treatment
- Chemotherapy treatment explained
- Other ways of having chemotherapy
Other ways of having chemotherapy
There are other ways of having chemotherapy, depending on the drugs being used and the type of cancer you have.
Learn more about:
Some people are able to take chemotherapy tablets or capsules at home. Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will tell you how and when to take them, and how to handle the drugs safely.
Less commonly, chemotherapy can be injected using a needle into different parts of the body:
- intramuscular – into a muscle, usually in your buttock or thigh
- subcutaneous – just under the skin
- intrathecal – into the fluid around the spine (also known as a lumbar puncture)
- intra-arterial – into an artery
- intraperitoneal – into your abdominal area (peritoneum)
- intrapleural – into the outer lining of the lungs
- intravesical – into the bladder
- intralesional – into the tumour; this method is rare.
Some skin cancers are treated using a chemotherapy cream applied directly to the skin. This is called topical chemotherapy.
Used for liver cancer or some types of cancer that have spread to the liver, transarterial chemoembolisation involves injecting high doses of chemotherapy directly into the tumour. At the same time, tiny plastic beads or soft, gelatine sponges are also injected to block the blood supply to the tumour (embolisation).
Dr Prunella Blinman, Medical Oncologist, Concord Cancer Centre, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, and Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, NSW; Gillian Blanchard, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Calvary Mater Newcastle, and Conjoint Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Newcastle, NSW; Julie Bolton, Consumer; Keely Gordon-King, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; John Jameson, Consumer; Dr Zarnie Lwin, Medical Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, QLD; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Felicia Roncolato, Medical Oncology Staff Specialist, Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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