Chemotherapy drugs may be administered in various ways, including:
• Orally. Some chemotherapy drugs available as pills (tablets or capsules) and/or in liquid form are taken by mouth.
• Injecting a bolus (i.e., a shot) into a muscle (i.e., an intramuscular injection; abbreviated as an IM injection)
• Injecting a bolus (i.e., a shot) into a vein (i.e., an intravenous injection; abbreviated as an IV injection)
• Infusing (i.e., slowly dripping) the medication (i.e., from a plastic bag through a catheter attached to a needle) into a vein (i.e., an intravenous infusion; abbreviated as an IV infusion)
• Injecting a bolus (i.e., a shot) intrathecally (i.e., into the fluid around the spinal cord); the process is called an intrathecal injection. Intraventricular injections may be used to treat patients with advanced breast cancer including bone metastases and/or central nervous system involvement.
o Injecting a bolus (i.e., a shot) intraventricularly through a port (i.e., an implanted tube) into the fluid around the brain). Intraventricular injections may be used to treat breast cancer patients whose cancer has spread to the brain.
Depending on the type of chemotherapy drug, the method of administration, the potential side effects, and the medical condition of the patient, chemotherapy may be given in various settings, including:
• At home
• At an outpatient clinic
• In the hospital