What is Infusion Therapy?
Infusion therapy is the administration of cancer medication either by injection or intravenous (IV) line. CHRISTUS Health offers infusion therapy services in a supportive and comfortable setting. Our team of registered nurses, certified oncology nurses and oncologists expertly manage your personalized treatment plan, whether it’s short or long term.
Two of the most common types of infusion therapy for cancer are chemotherapy and biotherapy (or biological therapy). We offer both for cancer patients who have been diagnosed either here or at other facilities, ideal for out-of-town patients or local patients who prefer nearby treatment.
This method introduces cancer-killing drugs to the patient's system. In many cases, it has been found to cure or shrink cancer and prevent cancer from spreading. It may also relieve symptoms cancer may be causing. Chemotherapy is a general term for the use of medications to treat cancer. Many of these medications have fewer troublesome side effects than they did in the past, which helps make receiving chemotherapy easier than it once was.
Biologic TherapyTargeted therapy, also called biologic therapy, is a newer type of cancer treatment. This therapy uses special anticancer drugs that target certain changes in a cell that can lead to cancer.
What Happens During Infusion Therapy?
Our specially trained staff provides you with safe, efficient care while enabling you to maintain your normal daily routine with family, work, and leisure. We offer:
- Comfortable chairs in a semi-private environment
- Experienced nurses who specialize in IV therapy and closely monitor patients
- Scheduled appointments that include preparation and post-treatment time
The medications are delivered into your bloodstream through a temporary location in the hand or arm for short-term treatment. Infusion ports are an option if you require long-term courses of treatment.
Am I a candidate for infusion therapy?
We provide infusion therapy to cancer patients, who may not need to be hospitalized, may not be receiving home care or may simply prefer therapy with our professional staff. Your infusion treatment choices depend on the type of cancer you have, how far it has spread, and the treatments you have already tried. Chemotherapy can treat most types of cancer. Biotherapy can successfully treat several cancers, including:
- Breast cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Bladder cancer
What can I expect after infusion therapy?
After your infusion appointment, you can go home. Depending on the type of therapy you receive, you may need someone to drive you home.You may experience many, few or no side effects. Always tell your physician about them. Common side effects, particularly of chemotherapy, include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hair loss
- Decreased blood cell counts
- Mouth sores
- Pain, swelling, soreness or itchiness at the infusion site
- Flu-like symptoms
Our medical team provides follow-up care for infusion treatment to monitor:
- Your recovery and general health
- Effectiveness of your treatment program
- Any signs of recurrence (return) or metastasis (spread) of cancer