The Chemotherapy & Infusion Center’s primary function is to provide treatment to patients who need oncology and infusion-related care and other specialized procedures. Infusion services at the Rivers Cancer Center provide inpatient and outpatient care that is comprehensive and convenient for patients.
The Chemotherapy and Infusion Center coordinates care with the patient’s primary care physician and other specialists. Services include:
- Port placements
- Infusion therapies
- Blood transfusions
- Central line cares
- Bladder instillations
- Lab draws
- Nutrition consults
Chemotherapy drugs can be given by mouth or injection. Because the medicines travel through the blood stream to the entire body, chemotherapy is considered a body-wide (systemic) treatment.
Chemotherapy may be used to:
- Cure the cancer
- Keep the cancer from spreading
- Ease symptoms (when the cancer cannot be cured)
Chemotherapy medicines usually target cells that quickly divide. However, normal cells — including those found in the blood, hair, and the lining of the gastrointestinal tract — also divide very quickly. That means chemotherapy can also damage or kill these healthy cells. When this occurs, side effects such as nausea, anemia, and hair loss can occur. Other side effects that are commonly experienced are fatigue, nerve pain, infection and constipation.
Side effects of chemotherapy depend on many things, including the type of cancer and specific drugs being used. Newer chemotherapy drugs that better target cancer cells may cause fewer side effects.
Side effects of chemotherapy can often be managed. The key to effectively managing side effects is open-communication between the patient and the cancer treatment team. Once side effects have been identified, then a plan of care will be determined for best treatment. Treatment may incorporate medications and/or referrals to other services available at RCC such as Nutrition Consultation, Lymphedema Management, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.