Chemotherapy

The effect of chemotherapy on white blood cells

Blood is composed of several types of cell: red and white cells and platelets.

Chemotherapy acts on all the body’s cells and prevents them from multiplying. Those that multiply very fast, like blood cells, are the most affected and their number decreases.

This decrease varies: it may be slight or very considerable, depending on the different combinations of chemicals administered. Your blood cell count is checked very regularly by means of a blood test known as a ‘complete blood count’ (CBC).

The effect of chemotherapy on red blood cells and platelets

Blood is composed of several types of cell: red and white cells and platelets.

Chemotherapy acts on all the body’s cells and prevents them from multiplying. Those that multiply very fast, like blood cells, are the most affected and their number decreases.

This decrease varies: it may be slight or very considerable, depending on the different combinations of chemicals administered. Your blood cell count is checked very regularly by means of a blood test known as a ‘complete blood count’ (CBC).

Hairloss

Illness and the effects of certain treatments often make visible changes to one’s physique. Chemotherapy may cause you temporarily to lose your hair. Such side-effects can affect your morale and your well-being.

Intravenous chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is often administered intravenously. In such cases it is injected directly into the veins. This requires attaching a flexible catheter (changed frequently) to your forearm. This device is known as a peripheral line, since it is placed on a limb.

It is sometimes necessary to resort to a larger vein found under the collarbone (subclavian) or at the base of the neck (jugular) using a catheter that stays in place while you are in hospital. This long catheter is called a central line, since its tip is positioned at the entrance to the heart.

Pulsations TV Octobre 2015 - Ces dernières années, les évolutions technologiques ont permis de nombreuses innovations à la pharmacie des HUG, innovations qui ont touché aussi bien le personnel que la distribution ou la préparation de médicaments à haut risque comme les chimiothérapies.

Pulsations TV Octobre 2015 - Elisabeth a rendez-vous chez son médecin oncologue aux Hôpitaux universitaires de Genève pour se faire prescrire une chimiothérapie.