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SCCA Medical Oncology at EvergreenHealth

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) medical oncologists provide chemotherapy services at the Halvorson Cancer Center, bringing their cancer-fighting expertise to patients on the Eastside.

They also help guide the treatment planning process at the weekly cancer conferences.

The SCCA Medical Oncology Clinic at EvergreenHealth has 13 private exam rooms and a minor procedure room.

How chemotherapy is used

  • As a primary treatment (used alone or in combination with surgery and radiation therapy)
  • To shrink the tumor prior to surgery
  • After surgery or radiation treatment to eradicate any remaining cancer cells
  • Different chemotherapy drugs may be given at the same time or one after another. Patients may receive radiation therapy before, after, or while they are getting chemotherapy

How chemotherapy is given

Depending on the type of cancer and where it is found, chemotherapy may be given in a number of different ways, including:

  • Injections or shots into the muscles
  • Injections or shots under the skin
  • Into an artery
  • Into a vein (intravenous, IV)
  • Pills taken by mouth
  • Shots into the fluid around the spinal cord or brain

Longer-term chemotherapy

When chemotherapy is given over a longer period of time, a thin catheter can be placed into a large vein near the heart. This is called a central line.

The catheter is placed during a minor surgery.

There are many types of catheters including central venous catheter, central venous catheter with a port, and percutaneously inserted central catheter (PICC).

Chemotherapy cycles

Chemotherapy is most often given in cycles, which may last one day, several days or a few weeks or more.

There will usually be a rest period when no chemotherapy is given between each cycle. A rest period may last for days, weeks or months.

This allows the body and blood counts to recover before the next dose.

Chemotherapy administration

Chemotherapy is usually administered at a special clinic or at the hospital.

The Halvorson Cancer Center's infusion center has 23 treatment suites that offer a combination of private rooms, individual treatment bays with garden views, a community room with multiple infusion stations and five fast-track stations.

Some people are able to receive chemotherapy in their home, with home health nurses helping with the medicines and IVs. 

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