Safety and chemotherapy
The types of drugs used for chemotherapy are strong. They can remain in the body for up to a week after treatment and can be passed through bodily fluids. Friends and family, including children and pregnant women, can visit while you are having chemotherapy as long as you follow safety precautions:
- Put down the lid of the toilet seat when flushing to avoid splashing.
- Wash any clothing or bedding soiled with body fluids thoroughly and in a separate load. Wear rubber gloves when handling soiled clothes or linen.
- If body fluids or chemotherapy medications spill wear rubber gloves, soak up with paper towel, wipe with soapy water and a disposable cloth and rinse well with water.
- Seal used gloves and cleaning cloths in a bag before throwing them away.
- If chemotherapy drugs come into contact with skin, rinse well with soap and running water and contact the hospital if irritation occurs and does not resolve itself within an hour.
- Use protection for any sexual intercourse and avoid pregnancy.
- Do not breast feed.
- Don't crush or break chemotherapy tablets.
- Store chemotherapy medications as directed by your treating team. Do not store them directly with other medications.
- Seal empty medication containers in a plastic bag and return them to your hospital or pharmacy for disposal.
For more information about safety during chemotherapy, speak to your treating team.
Types of chemotherapy drugs
There are many different types of chemotherapy drugs that are used to treat many different types of cancer. Some of the chemotherapy drugs used at Peter Mac are listed below. For more information regarding the chemotherapy or other treatments you or your loved one is receiving please speak to your doctor, nurses or pharmacist.
|5FU Folinic Acid (Roswell park) and 5FU Folinica Acid (weekly)||Chemotherpy drug 5 Fluorouracil and folinic acid (used to increase activity of 5FU) used in the treatment of colorectal cancer|
|ABVD - Adriamycin - Bloemycin, Vinblastine and Dacarbazine||A combination of Doxorubicin (also called Adriamycin) used in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma|
|AC-P||Combination of Doxorubicin and Cyclophophamide, followed by Paclitaxel used in the treatment of breast cancer|
|AC||Combination of Doxorubicin (also called Adriamycin) and Clyclophosphamine used in the treatment of breast cancer|
|AD||Combination of Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and dexamethasone used in the treatment of multiple myeloma|
|BEACOPP||Combination of Bleomycin, Etoposide, Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) Cyclophophamide, Vincristine (Oncovin), Prendnisolone and Procarbazine used in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma|
|BEP||Combination of Bleomycin, Etoposide and Cisplatin (Platinum) used in the treatment of testicular cancer|
|Carboplatin / 5-Flurouracil||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of various cancers|
|Carboplatin / Etopsodie||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of various cancers|
|Carboplatin / Paclitaxel (also known as Taxol ® ) - 3 weekly gynecological||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of gynecological cancers|
|Carboplatin / Paclitaxel (also known as Taxol ® ) - 3 weekly||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of various cancers|
|Carboplatin / Paclitaxel (also known as Taxol ® ) - Weekly combined RT lung regime||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of lung cancer in combination with radiotherapy treatment|
|Carboplatin / Pemetrexed (Alimta®)||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of mesothelioma|
|Carboplatin||Used to treat people with various types of cancers|
|CEF (oral)||Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Epiribucin and 5-Fluorouracil|
(5-FU) used in the treatment of breast cancer
|CF||Combination of Cisplatin and 5Fluorouracil|
(5FU) and is used in the treatment of cancer of the oesophagus and some other types of cancer
|CHOP||Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin , Vincristine (also called Oncovin) and Prednisolone used in the treatment of some types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma|
|Cisplatin / Etoposide NSCLC||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of some non-small cell lung cancer. It is given in combination with radiotherapy treatment.|
|Cisplatin / Etoposide SCLC||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of some small cell lung cancer. It may be given in combination with radiotherapy treatment|
|Cisplatin and Pemetrexed (also known as Alimta®)||Combination of chemotherapy used as a treatment for people with mesothelioma|
|Cisplatin / Vinorelbine||Combination of chemotherapy used as a treatment for people with lung cancer|
|Cisplatin||Used in the treatment of various types of cancer|
|CMF (oral)||Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate and 5 Fluorouracil (5FU). Used in the treatment of breast cancer|
|CVP||Combination of Cyclophosphamide, Vincristine and|
Prednisolone used in the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
|Dacarbazine||Used in the treatment of melanoma and some other cancers. It is sometimes called DTIC|
|Docetaxel (also known as Taxotere®)||Used in the treatment of various types of cancer and the treatment of some breast cancers|
|Doxorubicin (also known as Adriamycin)||Used in the treatment of various types of cancer|
|E-CMF||Combination of Epirubicin followed by Cyclophosphamide,|
Methotrexate and 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) and used in the treatment of breast cancer
|ECF||combination of Epirubicin, Cisplatin and 5Fluorouracil|
(5FU) used in the treatment of stomach and oesophageal cancers
|FC||Combination of Fludarabine and Cyclophosphamide used in the treatments of some types of leukaemia|
|FEC||Combination of 5-Fluorouracil (also known as 5FU), Epirubicin|
and Cyclophosphamide and is used in the treatment of breast cancer
|FOLFIRI||Combination of 5Fluorouracil (5FU), Folinic Acid (leucovorin) and Irinotecan used in the treatment of colorectal cancer|
|Modified FOLFOX||Combination of Folinic acid (also called leucovorin), 5Fluorouracil|
(5FU), and Oxaliplatin used in the treatment of colorectal cancer. It is called modified FOLFOX as the chemotherapy drugs are given in a slightly different (simplified) way to other FOLFOX regimes
|FOLFOX4 and FOLFOX6||Combination of Folinic acid (also called Leucovorin), 5Fluorouracil|
(5FU), and Oxaliplatin used in the treatment of colorectal cancer
|Fotemustine||Used in the treatment of melanoma|
|Gemcitabine and Carboplatin||Combination of chemotherapy used in the treatment of various types of cancer|
|Gemcitabine||Used in the treatment of many different types of cancer|
|Infusional 5FU (concurrent RT)||5Fluorouracil (5FU) in combination with radiotherapy is used in the treatment of many different types of cancer|
|Irinotecan||Used in the treatment of colorectal cancer|
|Liposomal Doxorubicin (also known as Caelyx®)||Used in the treatment of some type of cancers|
|Mitomycin C and 5Flurouracil|
|Combination of chemotherapy drugs used with radiotherapy used in the treatment of anal cancer|
|Paclitaxel (also known as Taxol®)||Used as a treatment for various types of cancer|
|Pemetrexed (also known as Alimta®)||Used in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma|
|TC||Combination of Docetaxel (also known as Taxotere®) and|
Cyclophosphamide used in the treatment of breast cancer
|TCH||Combination of the chemotherapy drugs Docetaxel (also known as Taxotere®) and Carboplatin|
and the monoclonal antibody Trastuzumab (also known as Herception®) which uses the natural immune system to kill tumour cells. It is used in the treatment of breast cancer
|Topotecan||Used in the treatment of various types of cancer|
|Xelox||Combination of oxaliplatin and capecitabine (Xeloda ® ) used in the treatment of colorectal cancer|
At Peter Mac we also use some therapies that may be used in conjunction with your chemotherapy or alone to treat disease. These are not chemotherapy drugs, however are usually delivered in the same ways, most commonly in the Day treatment Unit. These include:
|Monoclonal Antibodies||Molecules that mimic the natural antibodies that act as part of your bodies immune system to fight infection, germs and foreign invaders. They target cancer cells in different ways to chemotherapy.|
|Bevacizumab||Used in the treatment of several cancers, including colorectal and breast cancer. It is usually used in combination with chemotherapy|
|Cetuximab (Erbitux ® )||Used in the treatment of several cancers, including colorectal and cancers of the head and neck. May be given in combination with chemotherapy, or alone.|
|Rituximab (Mabthera®)||Used in the treatment of some types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia.|
|Trastuzumab (Herceptin®)||Used in the treatment of breast cancer. Herceptin attaches itself to the HER2 protien which is found in high amounts on the surface of SOME breast cancers.|
|Biological Therapies||The use of a derivative of living organisms, the living organism themselves of a synthetic versions of these to treat cancers.|
|Bortezomib (Velcade®)||A proteasome inhibitor used in the treatment of Multiple Myeloma|
|Interferon||Interferons are naturally occurring proteins that help stimulate the body's immune system when a foreign substance is detected in the body (like an infection). They are used to stimulate the immune system and reduce the ability of cancer cells to protect themselves.|
Who can I call for help?
In the case of a MEDICAL EMERGENCY CALL 000
You can speak to medical or nursing staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Peter Mac.
Monday to Friday, between 8 am and 6 pm, call: Day Therapy on (03) 8559 5330
Outside these hours (evenings, weekends and public holidays), call: (03) 8559 5000 and ask for the Patient Services Manager
Please have your hospital PUR number ready when you call the hospital.
Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and staffed by experienced cancer nurses who can support those affected by cancer, their carers and loved ones by providing emotional and practical support.
Level 3, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
305 Grattan Street
Phone: 03 8559 5330