If your consultant has recommended a course of outpatient chemotherapy, you will be
given an appointment to go to Ward 1 which is also known as the Macmillan Day Treatment Centre and is based at the Western General Hospital.
The Macmillan Day Treatment Centre (Ward 1) is opposite the Crewe Road entrance of the Edinburgh Cancer Centre.
People with different types of cancer come to the centre for treatments such as chemotherapy and blood transfusions.
Depending on the chemotherapy treatment appropriate for you, you may have
several appointments over a
period of weeks or months.
When you arrive at the Macmillan Day Treatment Centre (Ward 1), please report
On your first visit, the receptionist will give you an admission form to
complete. The form asks for basic personal details and also some information
about how you are feeling.
The receptionist will direct you to the waiting area and contact a member of the small team of nurses
who will give you your treatment.
On your first visit, a member of the nursing team will take
you to a private area to give you information about your treatment and answer
any questions you may have.
Your nurse will explain the side effects you may experience
and how to cope with them. S/he will also give you a letter and an advice sheet
for your GP, who will monitor your blood count while you are receiving
chemotherapy or other treatments.
When it is time for your treatment, your nurse will take you to a seat in
your treatment area. The unit is nurse-led, although there is a doctor in the unit at all times.
In the treatment area, chemotherapy may be given in several different ways,
depending on the type of chemotherapy that is appropriate for you. Chemotherapy
drugs can be given in tablet form, by injection, or by drip. In each case the
drugs get into your bloodstream and are carried throughout your body.
Before your appointment time, if you are having chemotherapy, the pharmacist
will check and confirm the prescription for your chemotherapy. The pharmacy
technician will mix and label your chemotherapy and the pharmacist will inspect
and double check it before delivering it to your treatment area. Other
treatments are prepared by a member of the nursing team.
The way your nurse administers the drugs depends on the chemotherapy you are
receiving. One method is to connect infusion bags to a drip and slowly drip
the drugs into your bloodstream. In some cases you may be connected to a machine
that gives the chemotherapy over a set time.
If your chemotherapy drugs are to be given by injection or by drip into a
vein in your hand or forearm, your nurse will insert a fine plastic tube (called
a cannula) into the vein. (If you have a Hickman line - a fine tube inserted,
under anaesthetic, into a vein in the chest - syringes and infusions can be
attached to this.) Your nurse will connect the cannula in your hand or forearm to the drip.
sterile saline (salt water) solution in the plastic bag attached to the drip
helps to carry the chemotherapy drugs through your bloodstream.
Another method is for your nurse to
inject the drugs directly into your bloodstream using a syringe (this is called a 'slow bolus
The time taken for treatment depends on the type you are receiving. It can
take anything from 15 minutes to 6 hours to deliver treatments. You will be told
in advance how long each treatment will take. Some patients like to bring a book
or personal stereo to help pass the time.
When your treatment session is finished, the cannula will be removed from
your hand or forearm. Your nurse will arrange a time for your next treatment and
provide you with any necessary medication and contact telephone numbers.