Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be used alone, with radiation therapy, or after surgery.

Chemotherapy drugs may cause side effects. The extent of these side effects, if they happen at all, varies from person to person. Our staff will talk with you about possible side effects and work to minimize the symptoms.

Common side effects include:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Infection
  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite changes
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth, tongue, and throat problems such as sores and pain with swallowing
  • Nerve and muscle problems such as numbness, tingling, and pain
  • Skin and nail changes such as dry skin and color change
  • Urine and bladder changes and kidney problems
  • Weight changes
  • Chemo brain, which can affect concentration and focus
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in libido and sexual function
  • Fertility problems

Cold Cap Therapy to Minimize Hair Loss

Through a generous donation from The Friends of Reading Hospital, we now offer Arctic Cold Cap therapy, an innovative approach to minimizing hair loss
for oncology patients.

Patients put on the caps (kept at a temperature of –25°F) 45 minutes before each chemotherapy session and wear them until four hours after the end of each session. The cold caps help the scalp’s blood vessels constrict and protect hair follicles.

The program has been successful in allowing patients to keep most or all of their hair during and after the chemotherapy process.

Infusion Center

Contact The Infusion Center

Contact us at 484-628-0900.

Appointments available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or as needed by the patient.

The Infusion Center is located in the McGlinn Cancer Institute, located on the Ground Floor of Reading Hospital's N-Building.

The Infusion Center provides care for individuals undergoing chemotherapy and other infusion services. The physical space features abundant natural light and original artwork.

Patients can expect a quiet and intimate atmosphere with personal attention from our dedicated nursing staff. Fully reclining chairs and individual televisions are available for patient use, as are iPads and public Internet access. We do ask you to bring your own headphones or earbuds for private listening.

Although beverages and snacks are provided, you are also welcome to bring food and make use of a refrigerator and microwave.

The Infusion Center’s separate treatment areas accommodate 80-100 patients per day.

The Infusion Center works closely with your physician to provide infusions and therapy selected for your care. All services require a prescription written by a physician on staff at Reading Hospital.

Available Services

  • Treatments:
    • Chemotherapy, monoclonal antibodies, targeted therapies, biologics, hormonal therapy, iron therapy, immunoglobulin therapy, bisphosphonate therapy
    • Bone marrow biopsies and aspirations
    • Intrathecal chemotherapy via Ommaya Reservoir or lumbar puncture antibiotic therapy
  • Supportive Care:
    • Growth factors
    • Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents (ESAs), blood and blood products
    • Patient and family education
  • Maintenance Services:
    • Port-a-cath and PICC line (central lines) care and maintenance
    • Hydration therapy
    • Lab draws via peripheral, and central lines, portable pump maintenance
  • Preventive Care:
    • Vaccines: including but not limited to Flu, Pneumovax, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, MMR, Tetanus, Zostavax