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Chemotherapy & Infusion

Help your body fight cancer with medications, blood transfusions or fluids you receive via infusion (through a vein). At Adventist HealthCare, our medical oncologists use the latest technologies and combinations of therapies to provide each patient with an individualized care plan. You’ll get chemotherapy and other intravenous (IV) treatments from a skilled team who specializes in oncology and provides top-quality, compassionate care.

Types of Cancer Therapies

Your doctor may recommend your cancer care plan include one or more of these therapies:

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy kills cells that divide rapidly, including cancer. At Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, you’ll benefit from chemotherapy-certified nurses specially trained to give you effective treatment that’s as safe as possible.

The medication also reduces the number of healthy cells in your hair follicles, digestive tract and blood. To give these cells time to regrow, your doctor may recommend you receive treatment only once weekly or once monthly. Chemotherapy’s side effects usually are temporary, and we’ll help you manage them.

Biological Therapy/Immunotherapy

Biological therapy, also called biotherapy or immunotherapy, uses your immune system to fight cancer. Treatments include:

  • Cancer vaccines – Prevent or treat cancer
  • Colony-stimulating factors – Encourage production of blood cells to boost your immune system
  • Interferons – Improve how your immune system responds to some cancers
  • Interleukins – Trigger immune cells’ growth and activity
  • Monoclonal antibodies, or targeted therapy – Gives you lab-grown antibodies that kill cancer or stop its growth
  • Nonspecific immunotherapies – Stimulate your immune system to make more antibodies to fight cancer and infections

During biotherapy, you may experience flu-like side effects, including fever, chills or fatigue. Ask your nurse for help relieving these symptoms, which go away after treatment ends.

Antibiotic Therapy

Antibiotics treat infections you might experience during cancer treatment. Antibiotic therapy may also help reduce some treatments’ side effects.

Blood Tests

Sometimes, a nurse will draw a blood sample that your cancer care team may use to:

  • Diagnose some blood cancers, like leukemia
  • Assess how your body is responding to cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy
  • See if cancer has spread to your bone marrow

Blood Transfusions

Some types of cancer and cancer treatments decrease your blood counts. That’s why your doctor may recommend you receive a transfusion of:

  • Red blood cells – Carry oxygen throughout your body
  • White blood cells – Fight infections
  • Plasma – Makes your blood clot
  • Platelets – Help keep you from bleeding

Growth Factor Injections

Growth factors stimulate your bone marrow to make blood cells. Your doctor may recommend growth factor injections to restore white blood cells lost during chemotherapy.

Iron Infusions

Cancer or cancer treatment can sometimes lead to anemia, a lack of hemoglobin in your blood, which causes weakness and fatigue. In this case, your doctor may recommend an infusion of liquid iron, which your body uses to make hemoglobin and reduce symptoms of anemia.

IV Rehydration

Cancer treatment can lead to dehydration, or lack of water in your body. If you feel nauseous or can’t take in enough fluids by mouth for another reason, your doctor may recommend intravenous (IV) rehydration. Children are more likely than adults to need IV rehydration, which provides water and electrolytes, or minerals, through a thin tube inserted into a vein.

Schedule an Appointment

To find a cancer care specialist, call 1-800-642-0101 or browse our Doctors Directory to schedule an appointment with an Adventist HealthCare doctor today.

Schedule an Appointment

To find an Adventist HealthCare cancer care specialist, call 1-800-642-0101 or browse our Doctors Directory to schedule an appointment today!

Convenient Service Location(s)

Cancer Program Annual Report

Download 2013 Annual Report

Past Report Archive
2012