Chemotherapy treatment is planned by our highly experienced, board-certified medical oncologists and hematologists. These physicians evaluate each patient, make recommendations for treatment and manage care, including the administration of chemotherapy. They also provide cancer consultation services and enroll patients in national clinical trials. Such research studies can help patients benefit from new treatments sooner.
Before chemotherapy begins, our medical oncologists and nurses educate patients about what to expect during treatment, possible side effects and helpful tips. Attending physicians are accessible 24-hours-a-day to help manage side effects. Our specialized cancer nursing staff provides advice and help throughout chemotherapy treatment.
As a systemic, or whole-body, treatment, chemotherapy destroys cancer cells to stop them from spreading. There are various chemotherapy medicines, used either alone or in combination with others.
Chemotherapy may be administered:
- before cancer surgery, to reduce the amount of cancer before a surgical procedure
- after surgery, to destroy any cancer cells that may remain
- before, after, or along with radiation treatment
- on its own, as a primary cancer treatment
Provided as outpatient care or inpatient treatment when needed, chemotherapy is given intravenously, through infusion, or may be taken in liquid, capsule or pill form.
Our commitment to safety in chemotherapy treatment is exemplified by the extensive quality control system we use in the infusion center of The Rosenfeld Cancer Center. This focus on safety starts well before treatment delivery. Cases are reviewed by a multidisciplinary team of experts. These professionals consider staging and treatment guidelines to evaluate the appropriateness of including chemotherapy or biological therapy in the treatment plan.
The night before a patient’s treatment, chemotherapy orders are placed into the clinical system by the medical or gynecologic oncologists, using embedded order sets. In the morning, each chemotherapy order is reviewed by chemotherapy-certified nurses who review the medical records and flow sheets. Dedicated oncology pharmacists provide a second look and additional safeguard, reviewing medications, doses and schedules.
When chemotherapy is dispensed to the patient, it is checked by two RNs and administered under direct supervision of the physician and nursing staff. All orders are kept in the clinical system and available for quality review. These checks and balances help ensure safe chemotherapy delivery.