Chemotherapy and infusion for cancer patients
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are most commonly used for treating cancer. The goal of chemotherapy is to cure, control, or reduce cancerous symptoms. If your cancer treatment plan includes chemotherapy infusion, you probably have many questions. Let us help answer them so you can feel comfortable during your visit to University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center for your therapy treatment.
What is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is a powerful drug that targets and destroys cancer cells.
How does chemotherapy work?
Chemotherapy kills cancer cells throughout the whole body. This makes it different from treatments like radiation or surgery.
How is chemo given?
Chemo can be administered either as a pill, shot, or intravenously (through the veins).
What is infusion for cancer patients?
Many types of chemo are given as an infusion or injection. With chemo infusions, chemotherapy drugs are put into your body through a thin tube called a catheter that's placed in a vein, artery, a fluid-filled space, or body part. In some cases, a chemo drug may be injected with a syringe.
Pumps are then used to control how fast and how much chemo is delivered into your body. They will infuse your therapy in the outpatient center or, for certain treatments, wear at home for a few days.
How long do infusion treatments take?
The length of your chemotherapy will depend on your specific cancer treatment plan. For some patients, each treatment session may only last thirty minutes or less. For others, it may last hours. Your doctor will share about how long you can expect to undergo each session of chemotherapy.
How is immunotherapy used to treat cancer?
Immunotherapy is treatment that uses a person's own immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy can boost or change how the immune system works so it can find and attack cancer cells.
Is immunotherapy used for all cancers?
Immunotherapy works better for some types of cancer than for others. It’s used by itself for some of these cancers, but for others it seems to work better when used with other types of treatment. Researchers have found ways to help the immune system recognize cancer cells and strengthen its response so that it will destroy them. In this way, your own body is actually getting rid of the cancer, with some help from science.
What to expect during your visit
Each infusion station features comfortable patient chairs and entertainment system. Private infusion areas are available to patients who prefer them. Patients coming in with a group of family members have the option of using the family infusion room, which has ample space and amenities to give the feel of home during their therapy.
A specially trained staff of certified oncology nurses administers chemotherapy, blood transfusions, antibiotics and other IV medications ordered by the oncology physicians.
Patients are served refreshments as requested and may order breakfast or lunch from the Firelands Café.
Patients and family members are asked to attend our chemotherapy class prior to beginning therapy to learn more about treatment.
Educational videos are also available during treatment via the Firelands Regional Medical Center channel on all of our televisions.