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Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat testicular, ovarian, bladder, head and neck, lung and cervical cancer. 

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What is cisplatin?

About cisplatin

Cisplatin is a chemotherapy drug used to treat:



It may also be used to treat other cancers.


It is best to read this information with our general information about chemotherapy and the type of cancer you have.



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“The beauty about the course was that although I was producing a story which involved much thought and reflection, it was never onerous as there was not any feeling of pressure to complete.”– Digital storyteller

Consent

Your doctor will talk to you about this treatment and its possible side effects before you agree (consent) to have treatment.

How cisplatin is given

You will be given cisplatin in a chemotherapy day unit or during a stay in hospital. A chemotherapy nurse will give it to you. Cisplatin can be given in combination with other cancer drugs or with radiotherapy.

During treatment you usually see a cancer doctor, a chemotherapy nurse or a specialist nurse, and a specialist pharmacist. This is who we mean when we mention doctor, nurse or pharmacist in this information.

Your nurse usually gives you anti-sickness (anti-emetic) drugs before the chemotherapy.

How is it done

Cisplatin is given into a vein (intravenously). The nurse will put: 

  1. a short thin tube into a vein in your arm or hand (cannula)
  2. a fine tube under the skin of your chest and into a vein close by (central line)
  3. a fine tube into a vein in your arm and through into a vein in your chest (PICC line).

Cisplatin can affect the kidneys. You will be given extra fluids through the drip before and after the cisplatin. You may also have a drug called mannitol. The fluids and mannitol can help prevent kidney damage.

Fluids

Your nurse will explain how long it will take to have the extra fluids. They will also give you advice about how much fluid to drink for the next 24 hours.

Drip infusion

Your nurse will give the cisplatin as a drip (infusion) that is attached to your cannula or line. They will usually put the drip through a pump. This will give you the treatment over a set time. "It was really helpful to hear others’ stories. Initially they provided a guide but also the messages made me realise that everyone has a story worth listening to (including me."

 

Ways Macmillan can support you

Searching for the right information can be really confusing. We have lots of services to help people living with cancer and people who have had cancer. We also have lots of information and services to support the loved ones of people with cancer.

If you want to be put in the right direction or simply need to talk to someone, we recommend to call us on our Macmillan Support Line. We can point you in the right direction, provide you with the information you need and offer you advice or a listening ear. [Call us] You can also browse a list of some of our services:  

Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisers

Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors are trained to give free, face-to-face advice to help you cope with the visible side effects of cancer treatment.

Boots Macmillan information pharmacists

Boots Macmillan information pharmacists give local support to people affected by cancer. Find out more about what they do and locate your nearest store.

Cancer information in your language

Macmillan produces a range of information in languages other than English. We also offer an interpreter service for our Macmillan Support Line.

Cancer Information Nurse Specialist

Our Cancer information nurse specialists are dedicated cancer nurses available to talk to on our Macmillan Cancer Support Line.

Energy Advice

If you are living with cancer and your energy bills increase, find out how we can help with access to energy schemes and grants.

Financial Guidance

Financial issues can cause worry if you become ill. Find out more about how Macmillan can help you with your finances.

Information and support centres

Macmillan information and support centres support people affected by cancer. They are free to use and we have centres across the UK.

Other resources and formats

We produce information in different languages and formats to suit different needs; PDFs, ebooks, audio, easy reading and British Sign Language.

Local support groups

If you need to talk about your cancer experience, there are more than 900 local support groups in the UK.

Macmillan Support Line - phone

You can phone the Macmillan Support Line. It offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we’ll listen.

Macmillan Support Line - web chat

You can also use our webchat if you would prefer to chat online with the Macmillan Support Line.

Macmillan Grants

Macmillan Grants are small, one-off means-tested payments to help with the extra costs that living with cancer can bring.

Macmillan Online community

Macmillan Online Community is a free online place for people living with or who are affected by cancer to chat about the issues affecting them.

Talk with a Telephone Buddy

Our free Telephone Buddy service is here for you. We'll match you with someone who understands what you're going through, and they'll give you a weekly call.

Macmillan Well-Being Coaching

Our Macmillan Well-Being Coaches are here to help you if you have or have had cancer. They offer free, remote coaching to people who want to work towards making a positive change in their life.

SafeFit exercise advice

SafeFit is a free remote trial for anyone in the UK with suspicion of, or confirmed diagnosis of, cancer. We put you in contact with a cancer exercise specialist who will help you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Welfare rights advice

We know that money is a big and often difficult thing to talk about when you’re living with cancer. Find out more about how you can access benefits which you’re entitled to.

Work Support Service

The Work Support Service offers advice to people who are employed or self-employed and are affected by cancer.

Email support at Point of Diagnosis

Ongoing information and support via email, from day one. Helping you cope with the health, money and emotional impacts of cancer.

Apps for people with cancer

This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.

 

 Welfare rights advice  The Work Support Service offers advice to people who are employed or self-employed and are affected by cancer.
 Ongoing Email support  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Apps for people with cancer  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Macmillan Support Line - web chat  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Macmillan Support Line - web chat  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Macmillan Support Line - web chat  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Macmillan Support Line - web chat  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Macmillan Support Line - web chat  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisers  Boots Macmillan Beauty Advisors are trained to give free, face-to-face advice to help you cope with the visible side effects of cancer treatment.
 Macmillan Support Line - web chat  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 Welfare rights advice  This is a list of carefully selected services not provided by Macmillan, to help you find other forms of support during this difficult time.
 White blood cells (WBC) 4.0-11.0 x 109/l 
 Neutrophils 2.0-7.5 x 109/l 
 Lymphocytes 1.5-4.5 x 109/l 

 

Side effects

Effects on the blood stream

Blood is made up of blood cells, which float in a liquid called plasma. Each type of blood cell has an important role in the body.

Cancer cells in bloodstream

Image: Cancer cells in blood stream

Effects on the kidneys 

Cisplatin can affect how your kidneys work. You will have blood tests before and during treatment to check this.

Before and after each treatment, your nurses will give you extra fluids through a drip. This is to protect your kidneys. It is also important to drink at least 2 litres (3½ pints) of fluids each day.

If you pass less urine than usual, tell your nurse.

 

Blood tests

What is a blood test?

A phlebotomist, nurse or doctor will take a sample of blood, usually from a vein in your arm. This will then be tested in a laboratory. Test adding document. Test test test. 


 

In this video: This video is an animation of how blood cells are made

 

Full blood count (FBC)

Blood is made up of blood cells, which float in a liquid called plasma. Each type of blood cell has an important role in the body.

A full blood count (FBC) test measures the level of these cells:

  • Red blood cells

    Red blood cells contain haemoglobin (Hb), which carries oxygen from your lungs to all the cells in your body.

  • Platelets

    Platelets are very small cells that help blood to clot, and prevent bleeding and bruising.

  • White blood cells

    White blood cells fight and prevent infection. There are several types of white blood cell. The two most important types are neutrophils and lymphocytes.

Measuring your full blood count

The levels of these cells in your blood can be measured with a blood test called a full blood count (FBC). The figures below are a guide to the levels usually found in a healthy person.


These numbers can vary from hospital to hospital. Your doctor or nurse will tell you which levels they use. They also vary slightly between people from different ethnic backgrounds.


The numbers might look complicated when they are written down, but doctors and nurses often use them in a simple way. For example, you may hear them saying things like, ‘your haemoglobin is 140’ or ‘your neutrophils are 4’.


If you would like to know more you can always ask your medical team to explain in more detail.


 





























 Type of cell  Levels found in a healthy person
 Red blood cells – measured in haemoglobin (Hb) levels 130-180g/l (men)

115-165g/l (women)
 Platelets 150-400 x 109/l 
 White blood cells (WBC) 4.0-11.0 x 109/l 
 Neutrophils 2.0-7.5 x 109/l 
 Lymphocytes 1.5-4.5 x 109/l 

 

Resources to help

You can download our Understanding kidney cancer leaflet [PDF]


Or click on the image below to download it.


Case study

"Sometimes you can relate to someone better when you talk to a stranger over the phone than you can to your loved ones. I called the Macmillan helpline. You could pick up a phone from the comfort of your home and speak to someone."




Ravinder, diagnosed with breast cancer 2013.


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