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Chemotherapy is the intravenous use of drugs to destroy cancer cells.

The type of chemotherapy treatment depends on many things, particularly the type of cancer. Often chemotherapy is used in conjunction with surgery and, or, radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy Day Unit

Bupa Cromwell Hospital has an international reputation for delivering cancer care  tailor-made to each patient. One of the ways we accomplish this is through our Chemotherapy Day Unit.

Holistic care

The dedicated nurses in the Chemotherapy Day Unit take a holistic approach to the care of their patients and work hard to ensure that their psychological as well as physical needs are considered. They work as part of a multidisciplinary team that includes a nurse navigator, dietitians, clinical specialist nurse for breast care and a palliative care nurse.

Finding ways to improve the patient experience


Many patients say hair loss is one of the most devastating side effects of their treatment. But this can often be reduced or prevented through scalp cooling. Our chemotherapy department now offers the newest of these scalp-cooling technologies – the DigniCap™ which provides better results and is more comfortable than other common scalp-freezing methods. It has shown to help more than 80 percent of patients keep their hair in such a way that they did not feel they needed to wear a head covering or wig.

We use chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells because they grow very rapidly. Hair follicles are also made up of rapidly growing cells, which is why some chemotherapy leads to hair loss. By lowering the temperature of your scalp, the blood vessels become smaller and less blood flows through them. This means less of the chemotherapy drugs can reach the hair follicle and your hair is not fully exposed to the effect of the drugs. Read more about how our patients are benefiting from this new technology.

Personalised menus - Wish for a dish

Another innovation came from the understanding that cancer patients, especially those having chemotherapy, often can’t cope with regular meals.  Our Lead Nurse worked with our hotel services team and dieticians to devise a lighter menu with smaller portions of simple food (based on responses to patient research) and a menu of healthy fruit shakes.

In addition, we introduced ‘Wish for a dish’ which means patients can be asked ‘what would you have now if you were at home?’ and that is then cooked especially for them.

Services in the chemotherapy day unit include:

  • phlebotomy or cannulation
  • bone marrow aspiration and trephine
  • management of patients with HICKMAN® Catheter or GROSHONG® Catheter and Port-a-Cath*
  • day-case infusion and blood products
  • outpatient chemotherapy and coordination of inpatient chemotherapy


*HICKMAN and GROSHONG are registered trade marks of C R Bard, Inc.

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