Find out about having chemotherapy and radiotherapy together for anal cancer and how you have it.
What it is
Chemoradiotherapy means having chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment together.
Chemotherapy uses anti cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. The drugs circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream.
Radiotherapy uses high energy waves similar to x-rays to kill cancer cells.
You usually have treatment in the chemotherapy day unit or you might need to stay in hospital for a day or more.
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in what we call cycles and the cycles are given every three weeks
for a period of six cycles he'll be coming in for approximately five months
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and what types can see half will be tender on how often you come in for
an example if a treatment cycle would be for you to come in on day one
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this can range anything up to an hour to an all day treatment slot
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its important to make sure that you've got the tablets the need to go home with
you and sickness medications in any effort into controlled happy it's the
also to make sure that you've got their telephone numbers
for the on quality unit phone if you have a temperature are you experiencing
home you need to ask advice about so please make sure you leave the unit and
you've got the information you require
if you've got any questions at all don't hesitate to ask the neuse
he'll be able to talk to them for you
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Your exact treatment plan will depend on what your doctor thinks is best for you. The treatment used mostly is a combination of the drugs mitomycin C and fluorouracil (5FU). You have the chemotherapy over 4 to 5 days. You usually have 2 cycles of chemotherapy. The second treatment is 4 weeks after the first.
A nurse puts a small tube into one of your veins and connects it to the drip or you might need a central line. This is a long plastic tube that gives the drug into a large vein, either in your chest or in your arm. It stays in while you’re having treatment, which might be for a few months.
You might need to stay in hospital while you have your chemotherapy treatments. But some hospitals allow people to go home with a portable pump for their 5FU chemotherapy. This chemotherapy is given through a PICC line, a type of central line which goes into a vein in your arm.
Instead of having 5FU through a vein, you might have the tablet form called capecitabine. This way you can have most of your treatment at home.
On the first day of chemotherapy you also have your first radiotherapy treatment. You’ll continue to have radiotherapy every weekday, from Monday to Friday for 5 to 6 weeks. As long as you are well enough you have your radiotherapy as an outpatient. So you need to travel to hospital each weekday for about 6 weeks.
Planning your treatment
before your treatment starts your doctor will need to work out exactly why
needs to go
which parts need to be avoided by the treatment
to have radiotherapy you lie in the same position as you did feel planning scans
we then line up the machine based on your tattoo marks
it's really important the East a very very still
when you're having your treatment so so important to let the radio
has no right at the beginning if you're not comfortable so they can adjust your
done we'll be back in a couple minutes we leave the room
and control the machine from a separate room this is so we aren't exposed to
treatment takes a few minutes and you'll be able to talk to was using an end to
we can see and hear you while you're having your treatment
and will check that you're OK when you treatment starts
you won't feel anything you may have the machine as it moves around you given the
treatment from different angles
because we're aiming to give the same treatment to the same part to the body
then the treatment process is exactly the same everyday see shouldn't really
notice any different
you'll see someone from the team caring for you once a week while you're having
they'll ask how you are and ask about any side effects
me UK you from one sitting area to another
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Before you begin treatment, the radiotherapy team work out how much radiation you need. They divide it into a number of smaller treatments. They call each treatment a fraction.
After your planning session
Your treatment starts a few days or up to 3 weeks after the planning session.
You lie under a large machine to have radiotherapy.
You will have side effects from your treatment. These can be more severe than either radiotherapy or chemotherapy on their own.
You can feel very tired, and may have frequent diarrhoea. Most people have soreness around their anus and groin, and the skin becomes red. Your skin may peel and break down. This can be painful, particularly when you open your bowels. Tell your nurse or doctor if this happens. They can give you painkillers and tell you on how to look after your skin.
Use only creams or dressings on your skin that your nurse or doctor recommends.