Your doctor will explain the goals of the chemotherapy and its possible side effects. They may ask you to sign a form giving your permission to have the treatment.

Often, chemotherapy is given through a vein in one or more sessions of treatment followed by a period of rest that lasts a couple of weeks. This makes up one cycle of your treatment.

Some people take tablets over longer periods. How often you have chemotherapy, what you are given, and how long it takes depends on:

  • the type of cancer you have
  • the chemotherapy drugs
  • how the side effects affect you
  • how the cancer responds to the chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy affects blood cells and may also affect organs such as the kidneys or the liver. Sometimes, a treatment session may be pushed back if the number of white blood cells you have in your blood is too low. But when your white blood cell count gets back to normal, you can have the session.