How We Can Help
Cancer Care Treatment Information
Our home treatments for cancer include:
- Chemotherapy. Some types of chemotherapy are suitable for use as home intravenous (IV) infusions or injections, meaning the medicine goes directly into your bloodstream through a vein. Before treatment, a surgeon inserts a catheter or port into one of your veins to serve as an access point. A portable pump connects to the catheter and delivers your medicine slowly, sometimes over the course of several days. You might be able to place your pump in a special bag so that you can easily carry it on your waist or over your shoulder as you go about normal activities. We deliver all medicine, equipment and supplies to your home or to the clinic, depending on where you will be starting your treatment. Nurses provide thorough education on how to take care of your pump, avoid infections and spot problems that mean you should call for assistance. Home infusion pharmacists label your medicine with complete instructions on how to store it, and you learn how to safely and properly dispose of medical waste. In addition to contact numbers and instructions you may receive from your physician and the clinic, know that home care staff members are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to answer questions or resolve problems with your infusion therapy. Some conditions for which home IV chemotherapy is useful are breast cancer, ovarian cancer and gastrointestinal cancer.
- Pain management. Injectable pain medicines that can be used at home may help relieve discomfort that results from cancer or cancer treatment. One approach involves a pump that allows you to adjust your pain medicine dose as needed. Another method is continuous infusion, in which the medicine flows into your bloodstream at a steady rate for long-term pain control. Home infusion of pain medicine is an option for some patients who are unable to swallow or take anything by mouth, or for whom oral pain medicines do not provide sufficient relief. The home care team provides you with the medicine, equipment and supplies you need and teaches you to administer your therapy properly, as well as how to manage any undesirable or unexpected effects. Our nurses and pharmacists check with you regularly to make sure that your home IV therapy is working and to answer any questions that you may have.
- Other therapies. We offer a variety of other home IV therapies that are important for cancer patients, including IV fluids for hydration, medicines to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting, and medicines that stimulate red or white blood cell production.
Cancer Care Locations & Physicians
Cancer Care Support Services
More information on home oncology services is available from these organizations:
A Sampling of Cancer Care Support Services
American Cancer Society
This nonprofit group provides an overview on cancer treatment options that are sometimes available at home.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology explains the basics of chemotherapy and many other cancer-related topics in patient-friendly terms.
National Cancer Institute
This agency of the U.S. National Institutes of Health answers common questions about home care for cancer patients.