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We provide chemotherapy and supportive treatment for patients who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Chemotherapy is a type of medicine used to kill cancer cells. It can stop cancer cells from growing and spreading.

Find out more about chemotherapy. 

We provide chemotherapy treatment in our cancer care and haematology units at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Wycombe Hospital.

Our specialist nursing staff have experience and qualifications in chemotherapy administration and cancer nursing. They’re committed to providing compassionate, high quality care to our patients, their families and carers.

Before you start chemotherapy

Before starting chemotherapy treatment, we’ll ask you to attend an assessment appointment with a specialist nurse. This is an opportunity to discuss the possible side effects of chemotherapy and what you can do to help minimise them. You may also have other questions about your treatment.

We’ll also discuss clinical procedures such as blood tests. We’ll tell you about the dates and times you need to come to hospital for your chemotherapy treatment.

You’ll also have an MRSA test. It’s a routine, painless procedure which involves taking swabs from your nose, throat and groin.

We’ll also tell you about scalp cooling which can help to prevent and reduce hair loss during chemotherapy.

What to expect from your chemotherapy treatment

Your chemotherapy treatment may be given to you by:

  • a ‘drip’ straight into your vein via a cannula
  • a central line inserted into your arm or chest which sits in a large vein just above your heart.

The line stays in place throughout your treatment.

We insert the lines using a local anaesthetic cream and check their position by an x-ray. As well as using the lines for your chemotherapy treatment, we also use them for blood tests and blood transfusions.

Scalp cooling

One of our nurses will have told you about scalp cooling during your chemotherapy assessment. It can help to stop chemotherapy treatment from affecting your hair.

It’s only available during chemotherapy and for certain types of cancers. Success depends on many different factors.

Your doctor or chemotherapy nurse can tell you if it is available and suitable for you.

Find out more about scalp cooling

Chemotherapy session waiting times

When you arrive, your wait will vary depending on your treatment. Our pharmacy staff prepare the treatments individually for each patient on the day.

Our nurses work hard to minimise your stay. You can bring a relative or friend with you.

We’ll offer you a sandwich lunch, and free tea and coffee throughout your stay. You can bring your own lunch with you if you prefer.