Providing progressive cancer treatment and compassionate care.

Treatment Information

  • Collection and Processing of Stem Cells

    Overview Following the delivery of high-dose chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer, infusion of stem cells is necessary to ensure recovery of bone marrow function and production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Historically, stem cells were harvested from bone marrow, however many cancer centers have recently adopted the practice of collecting […]

  • ASCT for Hodgkin Lymphoma

    Autologous stem cell transplant (ASCT) plays an integral role in the treatment of patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Most patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma are cured with combination chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy. ASCT is currently the optimal treatment for patients who fail chemotherapy and radiation therapy. For a general overview of the process of ASCT, […]

  • Hypercalcemia

    Overview An increased level of calcium in the bloodstream is most often a complication of cancer and is referred to as hypercalcemia of malignancy. In its severe form, hypercalcemia may be a life-threatening emergency. Management of hypercalcemia may involve increasing fluid intake, as well as the use of diuretics and bisphosphonate drugs. What is hypercalcemia? […]

  • Allo: Multiple Myeloma

    Overview Multiple myeloma is, in general, a cancer of older individuals that affects specific blood cells and is considered incurable with many standard treatment options. However, survival of most patients has improved significantly over the past 20-30 years. In order to have the best chance of improved survival, it is important to understand the treatment […]

  • Allo: Hodgkin

    Overview A variety of factors ultimately influence a patient’s decision to receive treatment of cancer. The purpose of receiving cancer treatment may be to improve symptoms through local control of the cancer, increase a patient’s chance of cure, or prolong a patient’s survival. The potential benefits of receiving cancer treatment must be carefully balanced with […]

  • Allo: CLL

    Overview Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (SLL/CLL) is considered a very indolent or slowly growing cancer, occurring predominantly in older individuals. Because the cancer grows slowly, it is very hard to cure with traditional cancer chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments, which only destroy rapidly growing cells. Although curing patients is very difficult, patients may live […]

  • Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

    Overview Patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) are treated initially with tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as Gleevec® (imatinib), Sprycel® (dasatinib), or Tasigna® (nilotinib). Patients who are resistant or intolerant of these agents are potential candidates for allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Prior to the development of Gleevec, allogeneic stem cell transplants were the only potentially curative […]

  • Allo: ALL

    Overview Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a curable cancer and the results of treatment have improved dramatically over the past 30 years. In order to have the best chance of being cured, it is important to understand the treatments available and what is necessary to achieve the best results. Researchers have learned that the best […]

  • Allo: AML

    Overview Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a curable cancer and the results of treatment have improved dramatically over the past 30 years. In order to have the best chance of being cured, it is important to understand the treatments available and what is necessary to achieve the best results. Researchers have learned that the best […]

  • ASCT – Stage IV Breast Cancer

    Overview of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant A variety of factors ultimately influence a patient’s decision to receive treatment of cancer. The purpose of receiving cancer treatment may be to improve symptoms through local control of the cancer, increase a patient’s chance of cure, or prolong a patient’s survival. The potential benefits of receiving cancer treatment […]

  • ASCT – Inflammatory Breast Cancer

    Overview of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant A variety of factors ultimately influence a patient’s decision to receive treatment of cancer. The purpose of receiving cancer treatment may be to improve symptoms through local control of the cancer, increase the duration of survival, or ultimately improve the chance of cure. The potential benefits of receiving cancer […]

  • ASCT – Stage II-III Breast Cancer

    Overview of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant A variety of factors ultimately influence a patient’s decision to receive treatment of cancer. The purpose of receiving cancer treatment may be to improve symptoms through local control of the cancer, increase a patient’s chance of cure, or prolong a patient’s survival. The potential benefits of receiving cancer treatment […]

  • Highly Aggressive NHL

    Overview of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant High-dose chemotherapy should be considered an integral component of the overall treatment strategy of all high grade/aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas in patients up to the age of 70. Consideration of its role in the treatment of a specific patient should be planned at initial diagnosis because high-dose chemotherapy cures more […]

  • Int. Grade/Aggressive NHL

    Overview of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant High-dose chemotherapy should be considered an integral component of the overall treatment strategy of all intermediate grade/aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphomas in patients up to the age of 70. Consideration of its role in the treatment of a specific patient should be planned at initial diagnosis because high-dose chemotherapy cures more […]

  • ASCT: Multiple Myeloma

    Overview High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is an integral component of the overall management of patients with multiple myeloma who are 65 years of age or younger. Clinical studies have demonstrated that patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy live longer and experience a longer period before their cancer recurs compared to patients treated […]

  • Low Grade/Indolent NHL

    Overview of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant Patients with indolent lymphomas that have relapsed or progressed following treatment have not been considered to be curable with standard treatment approaches. Recurrent indolent lymphomas, however, remain highly responsive to a variety of treatments and patients may survive for many years with repeated treatment. A wide range of re-treatment […]

  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and ACST

    Overview of Autologous Stem Cell Transplant High-dose chemotherapy is an integral component of the overall treatment strategy of non-Hodgkin lymphomas for many patients up to the age of 70. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are actually several different cancers that are currently classified by two different systems. The International Working Formulation (IWF) system classifies non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma into 3 […]

  • Breast Cancer and ASCT

    Overview Treatment of breast cancer typically incorporates several treatment modalities that may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Depending on the stage of the breast cancer this multi-modality treatment approach may increase a patient’s chance of cure, improve a patient’s duration of survival, and/or improve a patient’s quality of life. High doses of […]

  • Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for CML

    Overview Currently, allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the only available treatment that is known to cure CML. All other therapies, including autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT), aim to control the growth of abnormal cells or to delay the progression of leukemia from a chronic phase to acute myeloid leukemia. The current initial treatment of choice […]

  • Autologous Stem Cell Transplant for AML

    Overview Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a curable cancer, and the results of treatment have improved dramatically over the past 30 years.  In order to have the best chance of being cured, it is important to understand the treatments available and what is necessary to achieve optimal results. Researchers have learned that the most effective […]

  • Allo: MDS

    Overview Myelodysplasia is a curable disease and the results of treatment have improved dramatically over the past 30 years. In order to have the best chance of being cured, it is important to understand the treatments available and what is necessary to achieve the best results. Researchers have learned that the best way to cure […]

  • Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia

    Overview Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (SLL/CLL) is considered a very indolent or slowly growing cancer, occurring predominantly in older individuals. Because the cancer grows slowly, it is very hard to cure with traditional cancer chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments, which only destroy rapidly growing cells. Although curing patients is very difficult, patients may live […]

  • Acute Lymphoid Leukemia

    Overview Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a curable cancer and the results of treatment have improved dramatically over the past 30 years. In order to have the best chance of being cured, it is important to understand the treatments available and what is necessary to achieve the best results. Researchers have learned that the best […]

  • Cancers Treated with SCT

    Overview High-dose chemotherapy and allogeneic stem cell transplantation is the best treatment for certain cancers because it improves survival and cures more patients than other treatments. High-dose chemotherapy is currently being evaluated in controlled clinical trials for the treatment of other cancers. The results achievable with high-dose chemotherapy for the treatment of specific cancers have […]

  • Side Effects of Allo SCT

    Overview The type and severity of the side effects from high-dose chemotherapy and allogeneic stem cell transplant are influenced by the degree of HLA matching between donor and recipient; the condition and age of the patient; the specific high-dose chemotherapy treatment regimen; and the degree of suppression of the immune system. The safety of allogeneic […]

  • Stem Cell Centers

    A stem cell center consists of designated inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities with doctors and nurses experienced in stem cell transplantation. Three decades of continuous technological improvement have allowed high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation to become safe and widely available. There are currently over 200 centers that provide high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation […]

  • Stem Cell Collection

    Overview Following the delivery of high-dose chemotherapy to patients for the treatment of cancer, infusion of stem cells is necessary to ensure recovery of bone marrow function and production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Historically, stem cells were harvested from bone marrow, but more recently, many cancer centers have adopted the […]

  • Donor Selection

    Overview Allogeneic stem cell transplant is the best, and occasionally the only, curative treatment option for certain cancers. For these patients, a timely search for the best available stem cell donor can be life-saving. The goal of selecting a stem cell donor is to provide the best “match” between the donor and the patient (host). […]

  • Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant

    High-dose chemotherapy and allogeneic bone marrow or blood stem cell transplantation is a treatment strategy that utilizes the administration of high doses of anti-cancer drugs and/or radiation therapy for the purpose of killing cancer cells and transplantation of stem cells to “rescue” or restore bone marrow blood and immune cell production. Transplantation is the term […]

  • Side Effects of ASCT

    Overview The nature and severity of the side effects from high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation are directly related to the type of high-dose chemotherapy treatment regimen used and are further influenced by the condition and age of the patient. The safety of autologous transplant has improved a great deal thanks to advancements in […]

  • Cancers Treated with ASCT

    High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation is the most effective treatment for certain cancers because it improves survival and cures more patients than other treatments. High-dose chemotherapy is currently being evaluated in controlled clinical trials for the treatment of several types of cancers. Published results best describe the role of stem cell transplantation in […]

  • Autologous Stem Cell Centers

    A stem cell center consists of designated inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities with doctors and nurses experienced in stem cell transplantation. Three decades of continuous technological improvement have allowed high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation to become safe and widely available. There are currently over 200 centers that provide high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation […]

  • Autologous Stem Cell Transplant

    Overview High-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation involves the administration of high doses of anti-cancer drugs and/or radiation therapy for the purpose of killing cancer cells, followed by the infusion of stem cells to “rescue” or restore bone marrow blood cell production. It is important to understand that high-dose chemotherapy is the treatment for […]

  • Cancer Treatment

    Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Sterility

    Overview Chemotherapy commonly causes damage to the sex organs. In women, damage to the ovaries causes reproductive problems, or infertility, and premature menopause in some. In men, damage to the testes, the organs that produce sperm, results in sterility. Some men regain their ability to reproduce, however recovery is very slow. Others have permanent sterility. […]

  • Cardiac Toxicity

    Overview Chemotherapy drugs are toxins and can cause damage to your heart, which may be referred to as cardiac toxicity. As a result of this damage, the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body with essential oxygen and nutrients. Although several chemotherapy drugs may cause cardiac toxicity, the most common cause […]

  • Long Term Side Effects

    Cardiac Toxicity Growth Problems Menopause Secondary Malignancies Sterility Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Hyperpigmentation

    What is hyperpigmentation? What causes hyperpigmentation? What are the symptoms of hyperpigmentation? How is hyperpigmentation treated? What is hyperpigmentation? Hyperpigmentation is a darkening of the skin. This darkening of the skin may be generalized (happen all over) or localized, causing blotchy skin. What causes hyperpigmentation? Some chemotherapy agents can cause hyperpigmentation. The cause of this […]

  • Weight Changes

    Weight Gain Weight Loss Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Swelling

    Lymphedema Water Retention Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Skin Reactions

    Dry Skin Flushing Hand-foot Syndrome Hyperpigmentation Injection Site Reaction Itching Photosensitivity Radiation Recall Rash Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Organ Problems

    Allegric Reaction Bladder Bone Pain Eyes Ears/Hearing Heart Kidney Liver Lung Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Nutritional Issues

    Dry Mouth Poor Appetite Taste Changes Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Nervous System Problems

    Confusion/Delirium Dizziness Numbness and Tingling Seizures Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Mental/Emotional Problems

    Anxiety Forgetfulness Post-traumatic Stress Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Sexual Issues

    Impotence Vaginal Dryness Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Gastrointestinal Complications

    Abdominal Pains Constipation Diarrhea Heartburn Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Cold or Flu Illness

    Common Cold Cough Flu-like Syndromes Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Blood Test Abnormalities

    Electrolyte Imbalance Hypercalcemia Tumor Lysis Syndrome Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Bloodflow Problems

    Bruising and Bleeding Blood Clots Superior Vena Cava Syndrome Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Less Common Side Effects

    Bloodflow Problems Bruising and Bleeding Blood Clots Superior Vena Cava Syndrome Blood Test Abnormalities Electrolyte Imbalance Hypercalcemia Tumor Lysis Syndrome Cold or Flu Illness Common Cold Cough Flu-like Syndromes Gastrointestinal Complications Abdominal Pains Constipation Diarrhea Heartburn Sexual Issues Impotence Vaginal Dryness Mental/Emotional Problems Anxiety Forgetfulness Post-traumatic Stress Nervous System Problems Confusion/Delirium Dizziness Numbness and Tingling […]

  • Common Side Effects

    Anemia Depression Fatigue Hair Loss Infection/Fever Low Blood Counts Mouth Sores Nausea and Vomiting Neutropenia Pain Reproduction/Sexuality Thrombocytopenia Next Section: Less Common Side Effects » Copyright © 2017 Omni Health Media. All Rights Reserved. […]

  • Secondary Malignancies

    Overview Secondary malignancies are cancers caused by treatment with radiation or chemotherapy. They are unrelated to the first cancer that was treated, and may occur months or even years after initial treatment. Some treatments increase the risk of developing a second cancer, such as the chemotherapy drugs etoposide, radiation therapy for some lymphomas and childhood […]

  • Menopause

    Overview Chemotherapy may cause ovarian failure leading to premature menopause, which is the end of menstruation. Ovarian failure may be temporary or permanent. Hot flashes (sensations of heat with redness, flushing and sometimes sweating) are a common and disturbing symptom of menopause. Talk to your doctor about menopause and what can be done to manage […]

  • Growth Problems

    Overview Growth problems are a common side effect of treatment for childhood cancers. Problems with growth are caused by damage to the pituitary system, also known as the hormone system. Chemotherapy and radiation to the brain (cranial radiation) can damage the sensitive organs that comprise this system, resulting in lower than normal levels of essential […]

  • Rash

    Overview A rash is a skin reaction with redness and inflammation. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause a rash. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage a rash, such as creams. Simple lifestyle adjustments aimed at protecting your skin may also help manage a rash. What is a rash? What causes a rash? How […]

  • Radiation Recall

    Overview Radiation recall is a severe skin reaction that occurs when certain chemotherapy drugs are administered during or soon after radiation treatment. The rash appears like a severe sun burn. Treatment generally consists of corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, and rarely, delay of chemotherapy until the skin heals. What is radiation recall? What causes radiation recall? […]

  • Photosensitivity

    Overview Photosensitivity is a tendency to sunburn easily. Many drugs cause photosensitivity, including some chemotherapy drugs. Protecting your skin from the sun is very important. If you should get a severe sunburn, treatment is aimed at reducing inflammation and relieving pain. What is photosensitivity? What causes photosensitivity? What are the symptoms of photosensitivity? What is […]

  • Itching

    Overview Pruritus is an uncomfortable skin sensation, commonly called itching. It may be caused by any number of irritants to the skin, or it may be a result of cancer treatments or cancer itself. Treatments aim to reduce inflammation, pain, or reverse an allergic reaction. Taking care of your skin will also help manage itching. […]

  • Injection Site Reaction

    Overview An injection site reaction is inflammation in or damage to the tissue surrounding where a drug was injected. There are two types of injection site reactions: a local allergic reaction called a flare reaction, and a more severe reaction characterized by damage to the tissue due to extravasation. Extravasation is leakage of a small […]

  • Hand-Foot Syndrome

    Overview Hand-foot syndrome is a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs that results when a small amount of drug leaks out of the blood vessels, damaging tissues. This tends to happen in the hands and the feet because of the increased friction and heat that your extremities are exposed to through daily activities. Symptoms can […]

  • Flushing

    What is flushing? What causes flushing? What is the treatment for flushing? What is flushing? Flushing is a temporary redness of the face and neck. It may also be accompanied with a warm feeling. What causes flushing? Flushing is caused by a dilation, or opening, of the blood vessels in the face. This brings more […]

  • Dry Skin

    Overview Dry skin is a common side effect of cancer treatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause dry skin. Management of dry skin includes using moisturizer, avoiding things that make the symptoms worse, and protecting your skin until it returns to normal. What is dry skin? What causes dry skin? How can dry skin […]

  • Lung Damage (Acute Pulmonary Toxicity)

    Overview Lung damage is a side effect of some cancer treatments. This damage may include inflammation, which reduces the amount of oxygen you can absorb, and/or scarring, which reduces the amount of air you can breathe. Both of these result in uncomfortable symptoms, including shortness of breath and fatigue. Treatment for lung damage is primarily […]

  • Liver Damage (Hepatotoxicity)

    Overview Chemotherapy drugs are toxins and may cause liver damage. The liver serves many vital functions in the body; the most important is to filter toxic substances from the blood. If there are more toxins coming in than the liver can deal with, liver damage will result. Liver damage can be a very serious condition. […]

  • Kidney Damage (Acute Renal Failure)

    Overview Acute renal failure is a malfunction of the kidneys so that they are unable to perform their vital functions, one of the most important of which is filtering out waste. Some cancer treatments cause damage to the kidneys that can result in acute kidney failure. Kidney damage is usually reversible, if it is carefully […]

  • Heart Cardiac Toxicity

    Overview Chemotherapy drugs are toxins and can cause damage to your heart, which may be referred to as cardiac toxicity. As a result of this damage, the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body with essential oxygen and nutrients. Although several chemotherapy drugs may cause cardiac toxicity, the most common cause […]

  • Hearing Problems

    Overview Some drugs may cause damage to your inner ear, particularly platinum-based chemotherapy drugs.  Other drugs that you may be taking in conjunction with your treatment may also contribute to hearing loss. Damage to your inner ear may cause hearing loss, dizziness and ringing in the ears. While there are no drug treatments for this […]

  • Eyes

    Overview Some chemotherapy drugs may cause eye problems, ranging from minor dry eyes to an increased risk of cataracts, which may lead to progressive loss of vision. Symptoms of eye problems should not be ignored; notify your doctor immediately if you have cloudy vision, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, severe eye pain or a sudden […]

  • Bladder

    Overview Some cancer treatments may cause problems with your bladder. Specifically, some chemotherapy drugs, treatments delivered into your bladder and/or radiation to the pelvis can cause an irritation to the lining of your bladder, called cystitis. Cystitis can be severe, causing your bladder to bleed and increasing your risk of infection. This condition can be […]

  • Allergic Reaction

    Overview An allergic reaction is a set of symptoms that the body develops in response to a foreign substance. An allergic reaction occurs when the body becomes hypersensitive to a substance, such as a drug, dust, or pollen. The reaction can be localized, in an isolated place in the body, or wide spread. A severe […]

  • Anorexia and Weight Loss

    Overview Weight loss is a common complication of cancer and cancer treatments that can result in a poor prognosis for patients. Cancer or cancer treatments first cause a loss of appetite or aversion to food, also known as anorexia, which then may lead to drastic weight loss. What is anorexia? What causes anorexia in cancer […]

  • Weight Gain

    Overview While it is more common to lose weight while undergoing cancer treatment, some patients do gain weight. Chemotherapy, hormone therapy and steroid medications may all lead to weight gain. Notify your doctor if you have gained 5 pounds or more in one week. Also, work towards maintaining your weight with a healthy diet, exercise […]

  • Taste Changes

    Overview Changes in how things taste commonly occur as a side effect of chemotherapy, as well as radiation therapy for head and neck cancers. For example, sour or bitter foods may taste very strong while sweet foods may not taste as sweet as they used to. There is no treatment for taste changes at this […]

  • Poor Appetite/ Feeling Full Early (Early Satiety)

    Overview A poor appetite or feeling full early, also known as early satiety, may be due to cancer treatment or the cancer itself. Early satiety can lead to drastic weight loss if not carefully managed. Appetite stimulants are often used to treat early satiety. What is early satiety? What causes early satiety? What are the […]

  • Dry Mouth

    Overview Dry mouth is a side effect of some cancer treatments. It may be a direct or indirect result of treatment. Saliva is necessary for taste, swallowing and speech. Therefore, a dry mouth can significantly impact daily activities and quality of life. Dry mouth treatment consists of symptomatic relief through stimulation of salivary flow, oral […]

  • Seizures

    Overview A seizure is a sudden attack caused by problems with the electrical messages in your brain. Some chemotherapy may increase your risk of having a seizure. However, this risk is very small in most cases. What is a seizure? What causes seizures? What is a seizure? A seizure is a combination of disorganized body […]

  • Numbness and Tingling (Peripheral Neuropathy)

    Overview Numbness and tingling of your extremities (hands and feet) is called peripheral neuropathy and is caused by damage to the nerves between the extremities and the central nervous system (CNS). Some chemotherapy drugs can cause peripheral neuropathy. If you have numbness and tingling in your fingers or toes, you should notify your doctor immediately. […]

  • Dizziness

    Overview Dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness. There are many possible causes for dizziness. For cancer patients, the cause is often nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Treatment of nausea and vomiting with antiemetic drugs may help relieve dizziness. What is dizziness? What causes dizziness? Why is dizziness important? How is dizziness treated? What else […]

  • Confusion

    Overview Confusion or delirium is a state of brain dysfunction and may be a side effect of cancer or cancer treatment. The symptoms associated with confusion are often very unsettling for patients and family members. The first approach to treating confusion is to treat the cause. When attempts to reverse the cause are not successful, […]

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Overview Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by a variety of stress symptoms associated with reliving a traumatic event. Being diagnosed with or treated for cancer may cause PTSD in some people. Treatment for PTSD often involves various types of counseling and antidepressant medications. What is post-traumatic stress disorder? If […]

  • Forgetfulness

    Overview Chemotherapy has been associated with causing cognitive deficits, such as forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate. At this time, there are no proven treatments for cognitive deficits associated with chemotherapy.  However, the best way to deal with this unpleasant side effect of chemotherapy is to take steps to minimize the impact of forgetfulness and […]

  • Anxiety

    Overview Anxiety is a feeling of fear or anticipation. While anxiety is a natural response to some situations, it can develop into a debilitating disorder in some people. There are several types of anxiety disorders, but they all have the common symptoms of excessive, irrational fear and dread. Anxiety is treatable. Usually a combination of […]

  • Vaginal Dryness

    What is vaginal dryness? What causes vaginal dryness? What are the symptoms of vaginal dryness? How is vaginal dryness managed? What else can I do? What is vaginal dryness? Vaginal dryness is a lack of lubrication in the vagina. Vaginal dryness does not mean that you are not aroused. Due to prior therapy, the vagina […]

  • Impotence

    What is impotence? What causes impotence? What is the treatment for impotence? What is impotence? Impotence is an inability to achieve or sustain an erection. This condition is also called erectile dysfunction. What causes impotence? There are many possible causes of impotence: Age Medications (antidepressants, heart medication, pain medication) Anxiety and Depression Smoking and alcohol […]

  • Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea

    Why does chemotherapy cause diarrhea? Why is it important to manage diarrhea? How is the severity of chemotherapy induced diarrhea rated? What makes diarrhea worse? How is diarrhea managed? Which chemotherapy drugs cause diarrhea? Why does chemotherapy cause diarrhea? Chemotherapy damages rapidly dividing cells. Cancer cells tend to divide rapidly and uncontrollably. However, some healthy […]

  • Water Retention

    What is water retention? What causes water retention? What are the symptoms of water retention? What is the treatment for water retention? What else can I do? What is water retention? Water retention is the buildup of excess fluid in the tissues. Water retention is typically first noticed by swelling of the extremities. What causes […]

  • Lymphedema

    Overview Lymphedema is the buildup of lymph fluid in the tissues just under the skin, resulting in swelling, tightness and discomfort in the affected limb. Damage to or blockage of the lymph system is the cause of lymphedema, and in cancer patients, this damage is usually due to surgery or radiation therapy. While there is […]

  • Heartburn

    What is heartburn? What causes heartburn? What are the symptoms of heartburn? How can heartburn be prevented? How is heartburn treated? What is heartburn? Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus which causes burning discomfort in the chest just behind the breastbone. Heartburn can occur in association with eating certain foods or taking certain drugs, […]

  • Constipation

    What is constipation? What causes constipation? What are the symptoms of constipation? How can constipation be prevented? How is constipation treated? What is constipation? Constipation is difficulty passing stools or a decrease in number of stools. It may be accompanied by gas, abdominal cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen. Constipation may lead to stool […]

  • Abdominal Pains

    Overview Abdominal pain may present as a dull ache, cramping or sharp pain. Dull aches and cramping are often associated with some chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy causes these abdominal pains by changing the rate of intestinal activity. Furthermore, abdominal pains have many possible causes, some of which can be life-threatening. Notify your doctor if you have […]

  • Flu-Like Syndrome

    Overview A “flu-like syndrome” is a collection of symptoms that are caused as a side effect of many cancer treatments, including some biological therapies and chemotherapy drugs. Symptoms are similar to the flu, and may include general aches and a fever. There is no single treatment for the flu-like syndrome; each symptom is managed separately. […]

  • Cough

    Overview A cough is a natural reaction of the body to irritants in the airway. There are many possible causes of a cough: the common cold or flu, asthma, allergies, lung infections, smoke or other pollutants. In cancer patients, a cough may also be a sign that the cancer has spread, or metastasized to the […]

  • Common Cold

    Overview The common cold is a set of symptoms that result from a viral infection. Symptoms commonly include sneezing, runny nose, congestion and cough. Symptoms of the common cold may be treated with an antihistamine, decongestant or Tylenol®.  Some newer antiviral drugs may reduce the duration and/or severity of symptoms from the common cold.  However, […]

  • Tumor Lysis Syndrome

    Tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) is the development of electrolyte and metabolic disturbances that may occur following the treatment of cancer and can result in life-threatening complications if not managed appropriately. Tumor lysis syndrome is caused by the sudden, rapid death of cells, particularly cancer cells in patients with leukemia or lymphoma, in response to cancer […]

  • Electrolyte Imbalance

    Overview Electrolytes are chemicals in the body that regulate important physiological functions. Examples of electrolytes are sodium, chloride, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Electrolyte imbalance causes a variety of symptoms that can be severe. Electrolyte imbalance is commonly caused by loss of body fluids through prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or high fever. The most serious forms […]

  • Obstruction of the Veins to the Heart (Superior Vena Cava Syndrome)

    Overview Superior vena cava syndrome (SVCS) refers to a partial blockage of the vein (vena cava) that carries blood from the head, neck, chest and arms to the heart. Cancer is the primary cause of SVCS.  SVCS is considered a medical emergency and typically requires treatment for the cancer that is causing it. Treatment may […]

  • Blood Clots

    Overview A blood clot is a mass of thickened blood. Clotting is a mechanism used by the body to stop bleeding. A blood clot becomes harmful when it blocks an artery or vein and stops blood flow. If blood clots are diagnosed or you are considered to be at risk of forming blood clots, drugs […]

  • Bruising and Bleeding

    Overview Bruising and bleeding more easily than normal may be a side effect of your cancer treatment. The most common reason for cancer patients to experience excessive bruising or bleeding is a low platelet count, a condition also referred to as thrombocytopenia. Platelets are necessary for blood clotting. If thrombocytopenia is determined to be the […]

  • Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Counts)

    Overview What is Thrombocytopenia? Why is Chemotherapy-Induced Thrombocytopenia Important? How do I Know if I Have Thrombocytopenia? Can Thrombocytopenia be Prevented? How is Chemotherapy-Induced Thrombocytopenia Treated? Strategies to Improve Treatment or Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Thrombocytopenia What is Thrombocytopenia? Thrombocytopenia refers to the presence of abnormally low levels of platelets in the circulating blood. Platelets, or […]

  • Reproduction and Sexuality

    Overview Not all chemotherapy treatment will result in side effects that relate to your reproductive ability or sexuality, but some may. Reproductive problems are a frequent side effect of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy. Patients may recover their ability to have children or this side effect may be permanent. Hormonal therapy may help some women overcome […]

  • Pain

    Overview Pain remains one of the most common and feared symptoms of cancer. However, modern pain medications can control your pain. The type of pain medication that is prescribed by your doctor depends on the severity of your pain. Other methods of controlling pain include acupuncture, massage and others. You may also find that exercise […]

  • Low White Blood Counts (Neutropenia)

    Overview A low white blood cell count or “neutropenia” is a condition characterized by abnormally low levels of neutrophils in the circulating blood. Neutrophils are a specific kind of white blood cell that help prevent and fight infections. The most common reason that cancer patients experience neutropenia is as a side effect of chemotherapy.  Chemotherapy-induced […]

  • Nausea and Vomiting

    Overview Nausea and/or vomiting are frequent side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. While these used to be among the most debilitating side effects of chemotherapy, the development of new and more effective antiemetic (anti-vomiting) drugs has provided relief and many patients no longer experience nausea or vomiting at all. What is nausea and vomiting? […]

  • Mouth Sores (Mucositis)

    Overview Chemotherapy- or radiation-induced damage to the cells lining the mouth, throat and gastrointestinal (GI) tract is called mucositis. This side effect of cancer treatment can significantly affect patient quality of life and may cause delays in treatment. Historically, treatment for mucositis has consisted of supportive therapies, such as mouthwashes, aimed at reducing discomfort until […]

  • Low Blood Counts

    Overview A reduced number of blood cells in circulation is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Blood is composed of three basic blood cell types: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and regularly released into circulation. Chemotherapy destroys rapidly dividing cells, a characteristic of cancer […]

  • Fever/Infection

    Overview Fever is an abnormally high body temperature.  Fever is the body’s natural response to infection.  An infection-related fever may be particularly dangerous when your white blood cell count is low or is expected to be low, because this is when the body’s normal defenses against infection are low. Under these conditions, a fever needs […]

  • Fatigue

    Overview Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. There are many factors that contribute to fatigue, such as anemia, poor nutrition, inadequate rest, infection, stress, and others. Likewise, successful treatment of fatigue may require several approaches. For these reasons, it is important to tell your doctor if you […]

  • Hair Loss

    Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss? What will happen? What can be done to cope with hair loss? Why does chemotherapy cause hair loss? Chemotherapy damages rapidly dividing cells, such as cancer cells. Some healthy cells also divide rapidly, such as hair follicles. Chemotherapy damages these cells, leading to hair loss, also called alopecia. What […]

  • Depression and Anxiety

    Overview Facing a diagnosis of cancer or cancer treatment can be very stressful and may result in depression for some patients. Depression is a persistent sadness that interferes with your ability to complete daily activities. Treatment for depression depends on each individual, but is generally comprised of medication for controlling symptoms and counseling to deal […]

  • Anemia

    Overview Anemia is an inadequate supply of red blood cells, resulting in a decrease in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. A common reason that cancer patients experience anemia is as a side effect of chemotherapy. Anemia is important because it may cause unwanted symptoms, such as fatigue, tiredness or shortness of breath, and may […]

  • Treatment Overview

    Overview of Cancer Treatments Choice of cancer treatment is influenced by several factors, including the specific characteristics of your cancer; your overall condition; and whether the goal of treatment is to cure your cancer, keep your cancer from spreading, or to relieve the symptoms caused by cancer.  Depending on these factors, you may receive one […]

  • Post-Surgical Care

    Following any surgery, the wound must be kept clean to avoid infection.  Patients will typically have a sterile bandage placed on the wound and may have a drain inserted to prevent body fluid from collecting at the surgical site. This should help minimize swelling and pain, and also allow for quicker healing. Patients may have […]

  • Understanding Your Pathology Report

    Most cancer patients will undergo a biopsy or other procedure to remove a sample of tissue for examination by a pathologist in order to diagnose their disease. A pathologist is a physician specializing in the diagnosis of disease based on examination of tissues and fluids removed from the body. Upon examination, the pathologist determines if […]

  • FAQ's About Surgery

    Will I need to have surgery? Although most patients will have a biopsy performed, however, not all cancers require surgical treatment.  Some cancers are best treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy. In some instances, the cancer may be too big or difficult to remove with surgery. Your healthcare team will work with you to determine […]

  • Useful Surgery Terms

    The following terms may be useful: Biopsy is the removal of a piece of tissue from an organ or other part of the body for microscopic examination to confirm or establish a diagnosis, estimate prognosis, or follow the course of a disease. Curative surgery is the removal of the entire tumor.  Even after curative surgery, […]

  • Radiation Therapy FAQs

    What is radiation therapy? Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is the treatment of cancer and other diseases using ionizing radiation. This radiation can be delivered externally or internally. How does radiation work? Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA in the cancer cell, thereby disabling the cancer cell from reproducing and growing. The cancer cells then […]

  • Prevention and Management of Radiation Side Effects

    There are several methods being utilized for the prevention of radiation therapy side effects. These mainly include altering the manner in which radiation is delivered and administering drugs that protect normal cells from radiation damage. Radiation Delivery Methods Two delivery methods that were originally used to reduce radiation side effects include dose fractionation, or splitting […]

  • Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

    Although patients do not feel anything during a radiation treatment, the effects of radiation gradually build up over time. Most patients have very few initial side effects; however, many patients experience fatigue as treatment continues. The vast majority of patients are able to complete radiation therapy without significant difficulty. Side effects and potential complications of […]

  • What to Expect During Radiation Treatment

    Radiation treatment must be individualized for each patient depending on the size and location of their cancer. In order to tailor radiation treatment to meet the specific needs of individual patients, the radiation process involves several components, including consultation, simulation, treatment planning, and finally, the actual treatment. Consultation: The consultation is an important visit that […]

  • Techniques for Delivering Radiation Therapy

    Radiation therapy may be delivered externally or internally. External radiation delivers high-energy rays directly to the cancer from a machine outside the body. Internal radiation, or brachytherapy, is the implantation of a small amount of radioactive material (seeds) in or near the cancer. Radiation can also be delivered as an isotope into a vein, as […]

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How does chemotherapy work? How is chemotherapy given? How often will I receive chemotherapy? What chemotherapy will I receive? How is my chemotherapy scheduled? What are the side effects of chemotherapy? Why am I so tired? Will my chemotherapy make me sick? What tests will be performed? Why is my complete blood count (CBC) tested […]

  • When to Call Your Doctor

    The development of any of the following symptoms during your chemotherapy treatment may indicate a serious condition.  If you experience any of the following throughout your cancer treatment, please inform your doctor. Fever higher than 101º F Shaking chills Vomiting that continues 48 hours after treatment Bleeding or bruising Shortness of breath/chest pain Severe constipation […]

  • Understanding and Monitoring Your Blood Counts

    Overview A reduced number of blood cells in circulation is a common side effect of chemotherapy. Blood is composed of three basic blood cell types: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and regularly released into circulation. Chemotherapy destroys rapidly dividing cells, a characteristic of cancer […]

  • Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects

    The treatment of cancer may include the use of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, biological therapy, surgery or some combination of all of these therapeutic options. All of these treatment options are directed at killing or eradicating the cancer that exists in the patient’s body. Unfortunately, the delivery of cancer therapy, including chemotherapy, often affects the body’s […]

  • How is chemotherapy delivered?

    Overview There are a variety of schedules and techniques used to deliver chemotherapy and yours will depend on which treatment your doctor prescribes. Cancer chemotherapy may consist of a single drug or combinations of drugs that are delivered in cycles. A cycle consists of treatment with one or more drugs followed by a period of […]

  • Chemo Brain

    This often-unexpected side effect of cancer treatment leaves many patients experiencing debilitating cognitive effects after chemotherapy. Luckily, research and awareness are catching up. By Beverly Burmeier Ten years ago Sharon Palmatory’s trouble remembering names and numbers after chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer might have been brushed aside as an insignificant occurrence, considering survival was the […]

  • Complementary and Integrative Medicine

    Complementary and Intergrative Medicine Overview Complementary medicine refers to a broad range of health practices that may be used in addition to conventional medical care.These treatments do not replace conventional cancer care and are not intended to treat cancer, but research suggests that certain types of complementary therapies may help manage symptoms and side effects […]

  • Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

    Introduction The treatment of a cancer may include the use of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, surgery, or some combination of all of these or other therapeutic options. All of these treatment options are directed at killing or eradicating cancer cells. Unfortunately, cancer treatments may also damage normal, healthy cells that are not affected by […]

  • Stem Cell Transplantation

    High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and bone marrow or blood stem cell transplantation (SCT) is the best treatment available for many kinds of cancer. The SCT procedure was developed over 35 years ago and was considered such a major development of biomedical science that the individuals responsible were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1989. Continued […]

  • Targeted Therapy

    A targeted therapy is one that is designed to treat only the cancer cells and minimize damage to normal, healthy cells. Cancer treatments that “target” cancer cells may offer the advantage of reduced treatment-related side effects and improved outcomes. Conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, cannot distinguish between cancer cells and healthy […]

  • Hormonal Therapy

    Hormonal therapy blocks or prevents cancer cells from being exposed to hormones that cause them to grow. Certain cells in the body, such as prostate and breast, have hormone receptors on their surface. Hormones that naturally circulate in the body bind to these receptors and stimulate the cell to grow. Some cancer cells have many […]

  • Radiation Therapy

    Cancer treatment may vary depending upon the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, and the goal of treatment. Often, one or more treatment modalities may be used in order to provide the most complete treatment for the patient. Increasingly, it is common to use several treatment modalities concurrently (together) or in sequence. This is […]

  • Surgery

    Nearly all patients with cancer will have some kind of surgery. Surgery may be used to perform a biopsy in order to obtain a specimen for determining an accurate diagnosis, provide local treatment of the cancer, and obtain other information to help determine whether additional treatment is necessary.  Surgical techniques continue to improve, and surgeries […]

  • Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy is any treatment involving the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Cancer chemotherapy may consist of single drugs or combinations of drugs, and can be administered through a vein, injected into a body cavity, or delivered orally in the form of a pill. Chemotherapy is different from surgery or radiation therapy in that […]

  • What is Cancer?

    Newly Diagnosed A new diagnosis of cancer can be a shock, making you feel out of control and overwhelmed. Getting informed can help alleviate these feelings. Remember, very few cancers require emergency treatment; you have time to learn about your diagnosis and treatment options, ask questions, and get a second opinion. This section is designed […]

  • Getting a Second Opinion

    A second opinion is an important part of becoming educated about your cancer and your treatment options. The more you can learn about your diagnosis and your treatment options, the better chance you have of receiving the most appropriate treatment. Cancers are now more treatable than they once were, but there are also many more […]

  • A Word about Clinical Trials

    When you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, it is important to know all of the treatment options available in order to make the best decision about your cancer treatment. This may include clinical trials, which are research studies designed to evaluate new cancer treatment options. Clinical trials test the safety and effectiveness […]

  • Questions to Ask

    Being educated and informed will help you make the best decisions about your cancer treatment. Get all the information you can as early as possible concerning your evaluation, treatment, and possible side effects. The sooner you know about side effects and possible treatments, the more likely you are to protect yourself against them, or manage […]

  • Optimizing Treatment

    By proactively understanding and managing aspects of your treatment, you can help ensure the best possible outcome from treatment and maintain some degree of control in your life. Things you can do to optimize treatment of cancer are: Get informed Stay organized Discuss the effectiveness of treatment Work with your physician to select the best treatment for […]

  • Introduction to Cancer Treatment

    Choice of cancer treatment is influenced by several factors, including the specific characteristics of your cancer; your overall condition; and whether the goal of treatment is to cure your cancer, keep your cancer from spreading, or to relieve the symptoms caused by cancer. Depending on these factors, you may receive one or more of the […]

  • Diagnosing Cancer

    What is a cancer diagnosis? Diagnosis is not the same as detection. Cancer may be detected when symptoms or abnormalities, such as a lump or growth, are recognized by a patient or doctor. After a cancer is detected, it still must be carefully diagnosed. A diagnosis is an identification of a particular type of cancer. […]