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The Center for Cancer Care is just one facet of the comprehensive care provided by Canton-Potsdam Hospital and the St. Lawrence Health System. To learn more about the services they provide, visit the CPH home page.
Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, which means that it travels throughout the body to reach cancer to target cancel cells wherever they have spread. Depending on a patient’s diagnosis and the stage of their disease, chemotherapy treatment can serve three possible goals: to work to cure cancer, to control cancer, or as palliation, which means it is administered in order to reduce symptoms and improve a patient’s quality of life.

"Chemotherapy's not a dirty word anymore"

Dr. Velmalia Matthew-Smith explains how genomics and precision medicine have changed chemotherapy. 

On-Site Pharmacy

In order to make your cancer treatment as seamless and convenient as possible, the cancer center has an on-site pharmacy where cancer and hematology patients can receive necessary medication. Our pharmacy is staffed by the North Country’s only board-certified oncology pharmacist. In collaboration with our staff oncologists, our pharmacist monitors each patient's treatment and lab results, and adjusts dosages when necessary. 

Genomics is the study of the patient’s genome in order to determine what sort of DNA changes are causing cells to become cancerous. Precision medicine tailors treatment to each patient, taking into consideration their genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Together, they help our doctors determine the best individualized cancer treatment for each patient.

While chemotherapy drugs are usually administered intravenously, they can also be taken as a pill, as a cream or lotion, as an injection into a muscle or under the skin, or as an infusion at various sites in the body. Chemotherapy can be extremely effective. It can also result in difficult side effects for patients, including fatigue, nausea, difficulty eating, and hair loss. Our team works to mitigate those symptoms while you undergo cancer treatment and ensure your best possible outcome. 

Q: I hear that chemotherapy is worse than the cancer. How sick am I going to get?
A: Not all chemotherapies will make you feel ill. We will discuss the likely side effects of your chemotherapy so that you can can be prepared, and we will make sure to proactively address the side effects you feel during treatment.