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Cancer Institute > Treatment > Chemotherapy
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Chemotherapy

Torrance Memorial fulfills all the needs of patients undergoing chemotherapy. Our physicians and nurses keep you informed of your dosage, monitor your progress and teach you how to minimize side effects. As your partner in complete cancer care, we provide every tool to make your treatment as successful and comfortable as possible.

Short Stay

The Short Stay unit is the dedicated home for outpatient chemotherapy at Torrance Memorial. The unit provides South Bay patients with intravenous chemotherapy and biotherapy, as well as other infusions such as blood transfusions, IV antibiotics, and other supportive medications. The Short Stay unit is staffed with nurses who are chemotherapy and biotherapy certified by the Oncology Nursing Society and who receive ongoing specialty education to safely and effectively administer these medications.

2-North/Lemkin Pavilion

Although many chemotherapy/biotherapy infusions can be administered in an oupatient setting--Torrance Memorial Short Stay or a Medical Oncologist office--some patients need to be admitted to the hospital for an overnight or longer stay because of the complexity or need for intensive monitoring of some chemotherapy/biotherapy regimens. All of the nurses who work on 2-North/Lemkin Pavilion are certified by the Oncology Nursing Society to administer chemotherapy and biotherapy agents, and they receive ongoing training on the latest agents, administration techniques and symptom management strategies.

Why Chemotherapy and Biotherapy?

Chemotherapy and biotherapy drugs are used for a variety of reasons during cancer treatment.

  • Curing Cancer: Using medication to permanently destroy cancer cells either at its origin or to areas where it has spread.
  • Controlling Cancer: Using medication to shrink tumors, slow tumor growth or limit the spread of cancer when complete removal is not possible.
  • Easing Cancer Symptoms: To temporarily control symptoms caused by the tumors.

Depending on your specific cancer, your physician may recommend chemotherapy and biotherapy as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments like surgery and radiation therapy. In addition, you may receive more than one types of chemotherapy to most effectively combat the disease.

Receiving Chemotherapy and Biotherapy

Chemotherapy and biotherapy are delivered through several different means depending on the type of cancer you have and how best to treat it. Your personal treatment plan may contain one or more of these treatment delivery options:

  • Intravenous (IV): Chemotherapy delivered directly to a vein.
  • Orally: Chemotherapy delivered as pills, capsules or liquids you can swallow.
  • Topically: Chemotherapy delivered as an ointment or cream to rub onto your skin.
  • Injection: Chemotherapy delivered through a single hypodermic shot to muscle, under the skin or to fatty tissue.
  • Intra-arterial (IA): Chemotherapy delivered directly to an artery feeding a tumor.
  • Intraperitoneal (IP): Chemotherapy delivered directly to the abdominal cavity housing organs such as the liver, stomach, intestines and ovaries.

Possible Side Effects

As with all cancer treatments, chemotherapy and biotherapy pose a risk for side effects ranging from mild to serious. The severity of side effects from chemotherapy depend on many factors, including the type of medication you are prescribed, the type of cancer you have and your personal health prior to cancer.

The nurses and staff working in the Cancer Center units offer a wealth of experience to support you in coping with the side effects of cancer treatment. Specialists including dieticians, rehabilitation therapists and oncology nurse practitioners help you find strategies to cope with side effects.

To Learn More

The Advance Practice Oncology Nurses in the Torrance Memorial Cancer Resource Center are available to answer questions and provide information about all aspects of cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.