Updates

BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Chemotherapy and medical oncology: Why choose us?

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Siteman Cancer Center and the Missouri Baptist Cancer Center are two programs accessible through BJC HealthCare. Hospitals across BJC are staffed by experienced medical oncologists who personalize your treatment for optimal results. They offer comprehensive care using the latest technology in a warm, caring environment. 

When you to come to us for chemotherapy and medical oncology treatment, you can expect: 

  • Expert team: Many of our oncologists are nationally recognized for their cancer expertise. Our teams have the skill and experience to treat all types of cancer, including the most complex types.
  • Convenient care: You deserve expert oncology care that’s close to home. We offer outpatient infusion center locations in south St. Louis County, west St. Louis County and St. Charles County.
  • Nurse navigator: Here, you’re never alone in your cancer care. We assign you a dedicated nurse navigator who coordinates your appointments and provides support at every step.
  • Care and comfort: We take extra measures to ensure you’re comfortable during infusion treatments. Our compassionate medical oncology nurses and support staff provide you with warm blankets, snacks and a calming experience at each visit.
  • Clinical trials: Our physicians, researchers and scientists participate in groundbreaking cancer research and clinical trials. As our patient, you have access to the newest medical oncology treatments before they’re widely available.
What is chemotherapy and medical oncology?

Medical oncology is a cancer treatment that uses medications to destroy cancer cells or prevent them from spreading or growing. There are several types of medical oncology, but chemotherapy is the most well-known type. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, you may need chemotherapy alone or in combination with other treatments, like radiation oncology.

Chemotherapy and medical oncology medications come in many different types and dosages. You may need a single medication or a combination of two or more drugs. Our medical oncologists have the skill and expertise to deliver a personalized medical oncology plan that’s best for you. We consider the cancer type and stage, your overall health and your needs before creating your plan.

Your medical oncology treatment may come in the form of:

  • Infusion: You go to an infusion center and receive your medications through an intravenous (IV) catheter (thin tube that goes into your vein).
  • Injections: This is a medication given as a shot in your muscle.
  • Intravesical therapy: Your provider puts a catheter directly into a part of your body to deliver medication, such as your bladder.
  • Oral medication: Chemotherapy medications can be pills or liquids you swallow.
  • Topical medications: These are creams or gels you apply to your skin.
What cancers are treated with medical oncology at BJC?

Our cancer programs are equipped to treat all types of cancer. Even if your case is rare or complex, we can help. Some of the cancers we treat include:

Breast cancer

We provide comprehensive care for all types of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma, lobular carcinoma and triple negative breast cancer. Learn more about our breast cancer services.

Colorectal cancer

We treat the full range of colon and rectum cancers, including adenocarcinomas, carcinoid tumors and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs). Learn more about our colorectal cancer services.

Gynecologic cancer

Our oncology team cares for people with cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancer. Learn more about our gynecologic cancer services.

Lung cancer

We are equipped to treat non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs), small cell lung cancers, lung carcinoid tumors and very rare types. Learn more about our lung cancer services.

Lymphoma

Our cancer center teams provide comprehensive care for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin lymphoma, including difficult-to-treat cases. Learn more about our lymphoma services.

Prostate cancer

We provide customized treatment for all types of prostate cancer, from early-stage to aggressive cases. Learn more about our prostate cancer services.

Skin cancer

Our medical oncologists work with dermatologists and plastic surgeons to provide expert treatment for melanoma and other skin cancers. Learn more about our skin cancer services.

Other cancers

Our cancer care teams have the skills and expertise to treat any type of cancer, from bladder to thyroid. No matter what type of diagnosis you are facing, we’re here with expert doctors and nurses and compassionate support.

What types of medical oncology do we offer?

At the Siteman Cancer Center, our medical oncologists have extensive knowledge and experience, so you have access to the latest and best treatments.

There are hundreds of medical oncology medications available today. Each one works in a specific way and targets certain types of cancer.

In addition, more drugs are being created and tested through research and clinical trials. Our scientists and physicians lead and participate in research to gain knowledge of — and offer — these innovative treatments.

We offer the full range of medical oncology treatments, which include:

  • Chemotherapy
    Cancer-fighting drugs and other substances to halt abnormal cell growth, including cancer cells.
  • Hormone therapy
    A treatment that can slow or stop cancers that use hormones to grow.
  • Immunotherapy
    These treatments harness your own immune system to attack or destroy cancer cells.
  • Targeted drug therapy
    This type of treatment uses medicines that zero in on the specific changes in cancer cells or in nearby tissues that cause the cancer to grow and spread.
How can I manage side effects of chemotherapy?

Any type of medication can cause side effects, and medical oncology is no exception. If you need chemotherapy or medical oncology, it’s natural to be worried about how these side effects will impact you. Fatigue, nausea or hair loss are common during chemo treatment — but not everyone experiences them.

You don’t have to face side effects alone. Our medical oncologists, nurses and support staff are here to help. We customize your treatment to help avoid or minimize side effects whenever possible. Our caring infusion center teams specialize in meeting your needs and making your treatment comfortable.

Your physical and mental well-being is important to us throughout your treatment and beyond. If you’re experiencing side effects, tell your cancer care team. We listen to your concerns and help you find a solution through various treatments, including:

  • Behavioral health care: Our therapists and psychiatrists specialize in managing depression, anxiety or other mental health effects.
  • Medications: Our medical oncologists may prescribe medications to minimize side effects, such as anti-nausea medications.
  • Nutrition: Our registered dietitians help you through appetite changes, nausea or specific nutrition needs.
  • Support: Our social workers help reduce stress and improve your quality of life throughout treatment. They connect you with support groups, financial assistance and other resources.
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