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Chemotherapy & Infusion Services

Outpatient chemotherapy and infusion services are available Lake Charles Memorial's cancer center. Administering these cancer fighting medications requires highly skilled and specialized professionals. Medical oncologists and oncology nurses work closely with our pharmacy staff to manage dosages and monitor patient progress ensuring the best, cutting-edge formulas and optimal treatment plans to fight specific diseases. Patient education ensures that you and your family are well-informed about the regimen and educated in ways to prevent and manage potential side effects. About 80% of our outpatient infusion chemo nurses at our main campus are certified, and for all of our campuses our certification percentages are at the commendation level for the Commission on Cancer. You can be assured that at LCMHS, you’ll be receiving the highest level of service the Southwest Louisiana community can offer.

How Is Chemotherapy Used to Treat Cancer?

Chemotherapy refers to the use of any drug to treat any disease. But to most people, the word chemotherapy (or "chemo") means drugs used for cancer treatment. It's important to know that not all medicines and drugs to treat cancer work the same way. It used to be that the only kind of drug that could treat cancer was traditional or standard chemo, but now there are a lot of different kinds of drugs used to treat cancer. While traditional or standard chemotherapy is still the best way to treat many cancers, different kinds of drugs may work better for others.

Chemo is considered a systemic treatment because the drugs travels throughout the body, and can kill cancer cells that have spread (metastasized) to parts of the body far away from the original (primary) tumor. This makes it different from treatments like surgery and radiation. Surgery removes a tumor from a part of the body where cancer has been found, and radiation therapy is aimed at a certain area of the body to kill or damage cancer cells. Treatments like these are called local treatments because they affect one part of the body.

How Immunotherapy Is Used to Treat Cancer

Immunotherapy is treatment that uses a person's own immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy can boost or change how the immune system works so it can find and attack cancer cells. If your treatment plan includes immunotherapy, knowing how it works can often help you prepare for treatment and make informed decisions about your care.

Immunotherapy is treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. This can be done in a couple of ways:

  • Stimulating, or boosting, the natural defenses of your immune system so it works harder or smarter to find and attack cancer cells
  • Making substances in a lab that are just like immune system components and using them to help restore or improve how your immune system works to find and attack cancer cells

Immunotherapy works better for some types of cancer than for others. It’s used by itself for some of these cancers, but for others it seems to work better when used with other types of treatment.

Support for Individuals with Cancer during COVID-19