Chemotherapy is a potent ally in your fight against cancer. Our highly trained, compassionate team is dedicated to delivering the most effective treatment, while ensuring your comfort, safety, and dignity.
We understand patients may be anxious or fearful about chemotherapy and its potential side-effects. Much progress has been made to reduce or control nausea and other unpleasant effects of chemotherapy. Our goal is to keep you feeling good and enjoying life throughout your treatment and recovery.
Advances in the treatment of cancer are an ongoing, ever-changing and improving science. Our oncology and hematology physicians maintain a high level of expertise by continuously researching the latest treatment options for cancer patients.
From their offices here in the Cancer Center, our medical oncologists work in conjunction with other specialists to create an integrated, individualized treatment program for our cancer patients. Some patients may have other medical conditions that must be considered when developing a cancer treatment plan. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy, bio-response modifiers and many multimodality therapies are all considered to design the best treatment plan for our cancer patients.
Oncologists develop treatment plans and collaborate with other healthcare professionals to treat the whole patient along with the disease. They work to provide support in the areas of nutrition, emotional support, family involvement, symptom treatment, and supportive care.
Meet Our Physicians
The medical oncologists at Bay Area Hospital have specialized training and extensive experience. They’re dedicated to providing optimal care to every patient.
Born in Rangoon, Burma (now known as Yangon, Myanmar), Dr. Cherry attended medical school at Rangoon’Institute of Medicine in Lamaddaw. She completed her training in 1985.
In 1994 she began work as a research associate at All Children’s Hospital, University of South Florida, Department of Pediatrics. From May 1997 to August 2000 she served a residency in internal medicine at Ohio’s Canton Medical Education Foundation. She completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2002.
Dr. Cherry began her practice at North Bend Medical Center in January 2003. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Hematology, the Oregon Medical Association, and the Burma Medical Council, Department of Health, Rangoon, Burma.
Bret A. Cook, MD, medical director of Bay Area Hospital’s cancer program, is board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is medical director for the Hematology/Oncology department at North Bend Medical Center and an active member of the Southwest Oncology Group.
Dr. Cook received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology in 1990 from Oregon State University in Corvallis. Four years later, he earned twin degrees from Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School in Illinois: doctor of medicine and master of science in pathology.
Dr. Cook completed his residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City in 1997, followed by a fellowship at Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He completed his oncology requirements in 1999 and his hematology requirements in 2000. Since then he has treated cancer patients in the Coos Bay area and says he enjoys living in a rural area.
Your Nursing Team
The training and qualifications of our nursing staff meet and exceed national standards. In addition to regular nursing licensure, each of our nurses holds a chemotherapy provider card from the Oncology Nursing Society. National rules say the provider card must be renewed every two years. At BAH, however, every nurse who administers chemotherapy is required to demonstrate competency every year. In addition, advanced certifications in infusion and vascular access go beyond national standards to help assure you the best treatment possible.
Serious About Safety
Our staff is dedicated to exceeding national standards for patient safety. Special safety measures include:
- We follow a strict procedure to make sure the nurse preparing your medication won’t be interrupted or distracted.
- Your nurse completes a thorough pre-administration checklist.
- A second nurse checks each infusion before it is turned on.
- Nurses are intensely focused on your wellbeing throughout each treatment. If you develop a reaction to a medication, nurses respond immediately.
- Patients with special medical needs are given particular attention. If a patient’s blood has a low white-cell count (neutropenia), the patient may be placed in a “Neutropenic Precautions Room” to protect against infections. A patient with an infectious disease is likewise separated from others.
Chemotherapy is the use of medications to fight cancer cells. Depending on your individual cancer type, chemotherapy may be delivered through pills, through injections, or through an intravenous infusion.
Bay Area Hospital's two Infusion Centers -- one in the cancer center building, the other in the main hospital -- specialize in delivering medications to patients intravenously. Highly trained nurses meticulously follow accepted protocols and your individual treatment plan.
The Treatment Routine
Each time you come for treatment, our highly qualified oncology nurses will start by checking your weight and your lab tests, to make sure you’re healthy enough for a chemotherapy treatment.
An infusion session typically takes two to three hours from start to finish. But it also might take only a few minutes, or as long as eight hours. Every cancer is different, and every patient is unique.
During your treatment, you can relax in a chair or a bed. You’re not confined to your seat – you can move around, visit the restroom, and chat with other patients.
How often you’ll come for treatment will vary. You might come every day for a week, then take a few weeks off before starting again. Maybe you’ll go two weeks on, one week off. You might come just once week or even once a month. It all depends on the nature of your cancer, the type of chemotherapy, and your individual treatment plan.
Places To Stay
We know commuting for daily chemotherapy can be a strain. If you live more than 50 miles from the hospital, we may be able to provide temporary accommodations on the hospital campus. We have a small number of apartments as well as several RV hookups. These accommodations are free for cancer patients. Ask your oncology nurse about availability.