We have three chemotherapy units located at Bishop Auckland
Hospital, Shotley Bridge Community Hospital and the University
Hospital of North Durham.
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer using drugs to destroy
cancerous cells. There are many different types of chemotherapy
drug that may be given individually or in combination. They
work by damaging any cancer cells so they can't grow and
multiply. Eventually, the cells will die and the cancer will
shrink or go away completely. Unfortunately, chemotherapy may
also damage normal cells, which may cause side effects. These
are usually temporary because healthy cells are able to grow back
to normal quite quickly. Your chemotherapy team can offer
help to reduce most side effects, so please talk to them if you
feel different from usual.
Chemotherapy may be given as a standalone treatment (on its own)
or used with other treatments including surgery and
radiotherapy. The treatment intent may be to cure the cancer
by destroying all the cancer cells or reduce the possibility of it
coming back by destroying any cancer cells that may be present
within the body but are too small to detect. It can also be
used to control cancer where a cure is unlikely, by preventing the
cancer from growing quickly and to control the symptoms of cancer
if a tumour is causing any symptoms.
There are different ways to deliver chemotherapy including
intravenously (directly into the bloodstream via an injection or
drip), intramuscularly (deep into muscle), subcutaneously (under
the skin), intrathecally (into the spinal space) and orally.
Usually, you will come into one of our units as a day patient,
which means you can go home afterwards. Your treatment will
be administered by one of our experienced chemotherapy nurses, who
work as part of a team with consultants, doctors and other
The atmosphere on all of our chemotherapy units is very relaxed
and friendly. Drinks and snacks are offered to all patients
and you are encouraged to bring a book or something else to do with
you, as you may be in the unit for several hours.
Our staff will be happy to listen to any worries you might have
and answer any questions. They can also provide advice and
support to help you stay as well as possible during your
We offer chemotherapy in the following locations across County
Durham and Darlington:
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community