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.
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.