Chemotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for many types of cancer. Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center offers advanced chemotherapy services throughout San Diego County, provided by experts who use the latest techniques to maximize effectiveness and comfort.
Our chemotherapy nurses have completed extensive training and education through the Oncology Nursing Society, and many Scripps clinical pharmacists have advanced training in chemotherapy preparation and treatment. Our care team provides each patient with a warm, comforting experience, while ensuring the highest quality care. Learn about the various types of chemotherapy, side effects and more in the content below.
Chemotherapy for cancer attacks cancer cells with drugs taken by mouth or given intravenously (infusion therapy).
Scripps MD Anderson medical oncologists specialize in chemotherapy and other infusion therapies to treat cancer. Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, which means it travels throughout the body rather than treating one specific area as with surgery or radiation therapy. It may be used to:
- Kill cancer cells
- Shrink a tumor before surgery
- Relieve symptoms (also known as palliative care)
Depending on the cancer treatment plan, chemotherapy may involve a single drug or combination of drugs. It also may be used alone or in combination with other types of treatment. For example, chemoradiation (or chemoradiotherapy) combines chemotherapy and radiation.
How often chemotherapy is needed, and for how long, varies according to each patient’s needs.
Chemotherapy once required long hospital stays, but thanks to new medications, most patients now receive their therapy in an outpatient setting designed for comfort and convenience. Many infusion centers feature reclining chairs, private televisions and Wi-Fi.
Each visit to the infusion center includes a nurse assessment to determine how the patient is tolerating treatment. The visit also includes recommendations, educational materials and consultation with a pharmacist as needed.
Scripps MD Anderson offers chemotherapy and other infusion therapies in a variety of locations throughout San Diego. Patients may receive treatment in any Scripps hospital, outpatient infusion center or in affiliated physicians’ office locations. Our specially trained physicians and nurses supervise all treatments.
Visit cancer care locations for details of each cancer hospital, clinic and specialty center.