Chemotherapy involves the use of medications that destroy cancer cells in different parts of the body. Like normal, healthy cells, cancer cells go through a continuous process of dividing. The drugs used in chemotherapy are powerful and are designed to interrupt this cycle. Many different types of drugs are used in chemotherapy. Each type of chemotherapeutic drug (drugs can be used alone or in combination) kills cells at a different stage of the cell’s life cycle. And each drug does its job in a different way.
New chemotherapy treatments have fewer side effects than earlier drugs, make it possible for many cancer patients to lead relatively normal lives while receiving therapy. Patients with certain types of advanced cancer, such as breast, colon, lung and esophageal, among others, may receive chemotherapy with the goal of shrinking tumors prior surgical intervention, while other treatments may be given after surgery.
At LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center, patients can receive chemotherapy in the comfort of the day treatment center, which features a bright, inviting setting with plenty of windows. Such added amenities as a microwave, refrigerator, and compact disc players also are available to further enhance a home-like atmosphere.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I be able to work and/or drive after treatment?
Each patient responds to chemotherapy differently. Most patients are able to work in between chemotherapy sessions. Some chemotherapy treatments may cause fatigue as the patient progresses through treatment. Patients tend to base how active they are around how they feel. They can usually gauge what days they are feeling well and what days they may feel more fatigued. Driving is also based around how a patient is feeling. We do request that patients have a designated driver for the day they are receiving treatment, because some of the pre-medications for chemotherapy may cause drowsiness.
Am I going to get sick?
Chemotherapy agents each have their own various side effects, and each patient’s tolerance level may vary. Some chemotherapy medications may cause patients to be nauseated and cause vomiting. Anti-nausea medications can be prescribed prior to the chemotherapy infusion. It is important that patients fill these prescriptions before they receive chemotherapy treatment.
Can I eat prior to chemotherapy?
Yes. We encourage patients to eat prior to chemotherapy, especially if the patient is going to be here during meal hours. We recommend that if patients are going to eat something prior to treatment, that they select foods that are filling but not greasy.
Should I take the anti-nausea pills before chemotherapy?
No. We will provide you with anti-nausea or anti-emetic medication intravenously, as appropriate, before chemotherapy is administered. Also, our nurses will give you specific instructions prior to discharge regarding how you should take your prescribed anti-nausea medication when you get home.
May I bring food in with me during my chemotherapy?
Yes. Many of our patients and their family members often bring in food, especially if the patient may be here for four hours or more. We have a microwave and toaster for patient and family use, and a refrigerator that contains juices and sodas for patients. We also have coffee and tea. The Lake Health Mentor Campus also has a café located in the lobby that offers soups, salads, sandwiches and more.
How many visitors may I bring with me while I’m being treated?
We want you to feel comfortable during every visit. However, we do ask that you have only a maximum of two visitors stay with you while you are receiving treatment. We do this due to the limited space, to reduce the noise and to ensure safe, quality patient care. Please, no children 12 years of age or under in the infusion area.
May I use my cell phone or laptop while I am receiving treatment?
Please do not use your cell phone while in the treatment area; scientific studies have shown that certain kinds of cellphones can interfere with our treatment equipment. If you need to use your cellphone, please step outside of our treatment area.
We do not mind if you wish to use your laptop while receiving treatment, as long as you please either lower or silence the volume so as not to disturb other patients. Note that the Lake Health Mentor campus offers free Wi-Fi.
Where do I go if I am a patient of LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center and I get admitted to the hospital?
If the need to go to the hospital should arise, most patients go to the Lake Health facilities; however, the selection is ultimately up to the patient. Lake Health/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center is a collaboration of two health care systems that have been brought together to care for and treat cancer patients in the community that is close to home.
What are your hours of operation?
LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center is currently open Monday-Friday from 7:30am – 4:30pm. Click here to see our current lab hours; any lab appointments may be scheduled during these open hours.
Is there someone I can call outside of your normal hours?
Callers should contact the main number at (440) 205-5755. LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center currently has an answering service that will take calls after hours and on weekends.
Fundraising efforts throughout the year help LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center continue to carry out our mission to provide world-class cancer care and oncology services to residents within driving distance of Mentor and Lake County.