Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer (cytotoxic) drugs to destroy cancer cells. There are more than 50 different chemotherapy drugs.
Chemotherapy drugs can stop cancer cells dividing and reproducing themselves. As the drugs are carried in the blood, they can reach cancer cells almost anywhere in the body. They also do some damage to healthy cells, but these can repair themselves.
Chemotherapy is carefully planned and is usually given as a series of sessions of treatment. Each session is followed by a rest period.
In Southampton, you may come in to receive chemotherapy in the chemotherapy clinic (C3, called Hamwic Ward) or you may already be staying on the hospital's cancer care wards (D3 or C4). We now also have a service that allows eligible patients to have chemotherapy treatment at home.
Southampton has an international reputation for cancer care and treatment, and is at the forefront of medical development in research and treatment.
It is one of 12 major regional cancer centres in the UK, serving a population of around 2m people.
Cancer care is also one of the Trust's key defining services, which means it is being developed as a global centre of excellence treating more and more patients from outside the local area.
Chemotherapy closer to home
As part of a pilot scheme, national cancer charity Hope for Tomorrow has provided our cancer care service with a nurse’s car to help us continue bringing chemotherapy treatment closer to patients’ homes.
We currently offer an outreach chemotherapy service at The Hazel Centre, Countess Mountbatten House in West End and the Oakhaven Hospice in Lymington.
The car means our nurses no longer have to rely on taxis to travel to and from the outreach centres, and can continue offering this important and valued service.