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.
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.
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
Why Chemotherapy and Biotherapy?
Chemotherapy and biotherapy drugs are used for a variety of reasons during
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
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.