Chemotherapy

About

Our chemotherapy service provides chemotherapy treatment to cancer patients. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer and is most commonly given intravenously (injected directly into a vein) or in tablet form. These drugs disrupt the way cancer cells grow and divide but they also affect normal cells. You may be given treatment with one medication (monotherapy) or with a combination of medications (combination therapy). There are also a number of new treatments which are often given with chemotherapy as part of the treatment.

Our chemotherapy services have recently been CHKS accredited which means a ‘kite mark for quality’. CHKS is an independent external assessment of our services to ensure we meet the highest possible safety and quality standards and recognises our commitment to quality and safety in all that we do.

All patients receive a pre-treatment consultation to ensure that they are fully informed before they start their treatment. We also provide a 24-hour advice line for patients on chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.


Conditions and treatments

We use chemotherapy to treat many types of cancer. The Charing Cross Hospital chemotherapy unit specialises in treating breast, colorectal, lung, oesophagus, stomach, prostate, bladder, skin and germ cell cancers. The Hammersmith Hospital unit specialises in treating gynaecological, hepato-biliary, colorectal cancers and haematological malignancies.

Our service provides complementary therapy. Amongst other treatments, this service offers reflexology, massage and acupuncture. Each person will receive a consultation prior to starting any therapies. We have a nurse-led service for some patients. It has been recognised as an excellent and innovative service which has greatly improved the patient experience and provides individualised holistic patient care. Maggie's Centre, based on the Charing Cross Hospital site, is another complementary resource that can be accessed by all cancer patients.

Additional information

Clinical trials and research

As a cancer centre in a large teaching hospital we are always doing our best to improve care for patients and one way of doing this is through clinical trials. When you come for your clinic appointment clinical trials may be discussed with you. A member of our dedicated research team will discuss this in detail with you and answer any questions you may have. Participation in clinical trials is voluntary and if you decide you do not want to take part it will not affect your treatment.

Further online resources