treating your cancer

Chemotherapy and Infusion Center

Powerful medication to fight cancer cells

Chemotherapy uses specialized medications to reach and kill cancer cells in any area of the body, unlike surgery and radiation, which target specific areas. At the AIS Cancer Center, we deliver chemotherapy in our infusion center, via needle or catheter. We also use infusion to deliver antibiotics, pain medications and other infusion treatments you might need as you fight your cancer.

Infusion therapy in a healing environment

Many people with cancer need multiple infusion therapy appointments. When you choose the AIS Cancer Center, your comfort is our priority during each and every visit.

Our open rooms are suffused with natural sunlight and furnished with comfortable chairs for all body shapes and sizes. You can chat with others during your treatment, or use a complementary iPad to read, watch news or television programs, surf the web, answer email or engage via social media. If you prefer your privacy, we have rooms that are closed off and quiet.

No matter which room you choose, your nurse is just an arm's length away.

Your cancer chemotherapy team

Our infusion center is staffed by skilled nurses who are highly trained in chemotherapy administration. We also have the only community-based, board-certified oncology pharmacist in the area working in our pharmacy to prepare your medications.

Our team works closely with your oncologist on your chemotherapy plan. In many cases, your oncologist’s office is just down the hall from the infusion room, in case a quick consultation is needed. When you choose the AIS Cancer Center, your whole team is on site, working for you.

A typical chemotherapy infusion appointment

Most infusion treatments are completed within 90 minutes. We know you are busy and have other things to attend to, so we honor your time. Our wait time is, on average, shorter than 15 minutes. All of our chemotherapy medications are prepared on-site, which also saves you time.

Your family can wait in our comfortable guest area until your appointment is complete, or they can be with you in the infusion room during your treatment. It's your choice.

You can visit the gift gallery for snacks and drinks. Should you need help with transportation, we can also arrange that for you, so you can get home safely.

Central venous catheters

Putting needles and catheters in the small veins of your arms or hands repeatedly to deliver chemotherapy can cause wear and tear and scarring in the veins. Central venous catheters (CVCs), also called central venous access devices (CVADs), or central lines, are a potential alternative. They can also be used to take out blood for testing.

The CVC is a large, long catheter that can be put into a large vein in the chest or upper arm. It stays in place for the duration of your treatment so you can avoid repeated needle insertions.

Your cancer care team can help you decide if you need a CVC and the right type of CVC for you. Some of these devices can restrict certain activities, and safety can be a concern. Each type comes with its own specific care, possible problems, and complications.

Many different kinds of CVCs are available. The two most common types are the port-a-cath and the peripherally inserted central catheter, also known as a PICC line.

Some reasons you might want or need a CVC:

  • To get more than one medication at a time
  • To get continuous infusion chemotherapy (over 24 hours or longer)
  • To get nutrition
  • To get frequent treatments
  • To get treatments at home
  • To get long-term therapy (over many months or even longer)
  • To get medications that can cause serious damage to skin and muscle tissue if they leak outside a vein (these drugs are known as vesicants). Getting them through a CVC reduces the risk that the drug will leak and damage tissues.

The type of CVC you may need depends on:

  • How long your treatment is
  • How long it takes to infuse each dose of chemotherapy
  • How many medications need to be given at once
  • Your preferences
  • Your doctor’s needs in delivering chemotherapy (type of drug)
  • The care required to maintain the CVC
  • Other medical problems you may have, for instance clotting problems or lymphedema (swelling)


A port is a type of CVC. It’s also called an implantable venous access port. It’s a small drum made of plastic or metal with a thin tube (called a line) going from the drum into a large vein. Ports are permanently placed under the skin of the chest or arm. The drum has a silicone septum (self-sealing membrane) across the top and special needles are stuck through the skin into the septum to use the port. A port can stay in for many years. It requires monthly maintenance while it is not in use. It doesn’t require any special care at home when there’s no needle in it.

PICC line

Some CVCs are soft tubes that are accessed from outside the skin. A PICC line is a flexible catheter that is inserted into a large vein. A PICC line may stay in for many weeks to months. There may be IV access sites that are accessible at your skin. The catheter and the skin around it will need care and regular maintenance.

Tunneled Central Venous Catheters

This type of catheter can have many separate channels or tubes (called lumens). It is placed in a large (central) vein in the chest. The catheter is tunneled under the skin, but the openings to the lumens are tunneled out of the skin on the chest. This catheter can be maintained for months to years. The external catheter and the skin around it will need care and regular maintenance.

Potential questions for your care team

  • Here are some things you may want to talk to your cancer care team about:
  • What’s the name(s) of the chemotherapy? Is there more than one name for the same drug?
  • How do I take it?
  • When should I take it?
  • Is it safe to take it with other drugs, food, vitamins, herbs, supplements, or other treatments I use?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • For oral chemotherapy, how should I store it?
  • What are the likely side effects? What should I do if I have side effects?
  • How can I get in touch with you if I have trouble late at night or on the weekend?
  • How long will I need to take the chemotherapy?
  • Will you be calling me to find out how I’m doing with the chemo?
  • How often will you need to see me in person?
  • Will I need to have laboratory tests done prior to each cycle I receive?
  • Do I need to let you know if I start any new medications?

Call (661) 323-4673 to schedule your next infusion appointment with us.