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Medical Oncology Resources


Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. The drugs often are called "anticancer" drugs.

Visit Karmanos Cancer Institute website to learn more about chemotherapy and chemotherapy tips to help during treatment.

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Clinical Trials

Research studies evaluate promising new therapies and answer scientific questions. The goal of such trials is to find treatments that are more effective in controlling cancer with fewer side effects. Karmanos Cancer Institute offers one of the largest clinical trials program in the nation, giving patients access to more than 100 promising new treatments often available only at Karmanos. Click here for a list of Karmanos Clinical Trials.

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Hormonal Therapy

Hormonal therapy is the use of hormones (substances in our body produced by an organ or gland) to trigger an increase in function or activity of another body part, or increase release of another hormone. Hormones are used in certain cancers that respond to stimulation of specific hormones. They may be used in cancers of the breast, cervix, kidney, skin (malignant melanoma), ovary, and prostate.

Why is hormonal therapy used in cancer patients?

  • Some cancers are dependent upon the presence of specific hormones/substances in our body to survive and grow
  • Use of a specific hormone blocks the production or effects of the hormones that are associated with a particular cancer

Why are there side effects when someone receives hormonal therapy?

Hormones stimulate or cause overproduction of certain substances in the body. Side effects can occur as a result.

What are the most common side effects of hormonal therapy?

  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Hot flashes
  • Impotence
  • Increased blood sugar/diabetes
  • Swelling from fluid retention
  • Weight gain

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Infusion Therapy

The day of appointment, patients are asked to bring:

  • Their insurance card
  • Names and addresses of all their physicians
  • A list of all medications they are currently taking, making sure to include over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs and any dietary supplements

What to expect:

  • There is no set time length of treatments. The length of treatments depends on the type of medications the patient has been prescribed and how quickly treatments are delivered.
  • Patients will learn about their course of treatment from their doctor before therapy begins. Patients who need additional information on specific drugs that will be administered may ask their medical team or visit the National Cancer Institute's Drug Dictionary Web site.

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