There are cases where cancer treatment is administered at home. The various treatments to be given at home include injections (both intramuscular and intravenous), IV antibiotics and pills. There are many reasons why patients opt to deal with cancer cases at home. Among the reasons are the inability to reach the clinic for visits, problems with providers of health insurance and the clinic has put in place in a comprehensive home care program. Always stick to the medicines’ prescriptions as advised by the hospital team and observe keenly for symptoms of any side effects. Always ask the team at the hospital on what treatment is most ideal.
How to deal with cancer cases at home
Injections (either into the muscles or under the skin)
Before starting, have your hands washed thoroughly with soap and rinsed with water. As instructed by the team at the clinic, give the shots. Check the syringe for correct dosage and then have the skin wiped with alcohol. Ensure that it dries for at least 30 seconds then do the injection. Make that the needle is sterile.
Different spots on the body should be used for each shot. For those shots made under the skin, ensure they are at least 1 inch from each other. Intramuscular injections should only be made on the body area that the cancer team at the clinic recommended.
Run a check on the old sites that were injected for infections.
Signs of infection are redness, swelling, pain or warmth. You can also check the mouth temperature, and if it is above 100.5 degrees, then there is an infection.
The pills should be taken as per the prescription. If possible,
set the alarm so that the pills are taken at the right time. The amount of recommended should be adhered to. If the pills have side effects such as nausea and are to be taken once a day, always take them before bedtime. Alternatively, ask the cancer team for ways of managing other side effects. Always consult in case of any doubt. For example, should the pills be crushed or taken wholly? As a safety precaution, all medicine should be kept away from children.
Cases where the patient should be rushed to hospital
- If the caregiver notices the following, he should contact the hospital
- The patient is spilling or vomiting the medicine
- The patient has missed a dose
- The patient has infections around the injection site. The symptoms of the infections have been discussed above
- The side effects are causing discomfort to the patient. The side effects include pain, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea.
- The patient has an allergic reaction immediately after taking medicine. The allergic reactions could result in hives, shortness of breath or itching
- The patient looks dehydrated
- The patient is vomiting excessively, and the vomit resembles
In conclusion, the caregiver should always stick to the instructions given to him on how to deal with cancer cases at home. The caregiver should also be on the look for other symptoms which may not necessarily be for cancer, but another illness is developing.