Infusion Therapy for Cancer

UC San Diego Health offers patients the most advanced medical oncology expertise available with infusion centers conveniently located throughout the county.

Our main infusion center is at Moores Cancer Center, featuring a warm, comfortable and supportive environment for your treatment, complete with personal TVs, free wireless, books, games and puzzles. A complimentary foot massage may be available during infusion to help you relax. A refrigerator and microwave are also available for your use. 

Guests are welcome to join you in the infusion center, visit our outdoor bamboo healing garden, or dine at one of our cafeterias. We recommend you dress in comfortable clothes and bring a sweater of jacket.

Preparing for Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, also known as chemo, is a key component of many people's cancer treatment and may be administered intravenously (an infusion). Talking to your doctor about  your chemotherapy options can help you feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about your care. Some questions to ask:

  • Why do I need this treatment?
  • What drugs will I be taking? How often? For how long? What will they do?
  • How will we know if the chemo is working? Do I need other treatments as well? 
  • What are the risks and side effects? What can I do about side effects?

Learn how to prepare for chemotherapy

Another way to learn more about chemotherapy:

Managing During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can cause side effects, such as nausea and hair loss.

Among the advantages of having chemotherapy at UC San Diego Health are the range of supportive services to make each person's cancer journey as comfortable as possible.

We offer:

  • Pharmacy consults with oncology specialists to review your medications, and avoid drug-drug interactions and medication side-effects 
  • Dietary counseling to help patients get the nutrition they need during treatment
  • Individual, family and group counseling, as well as well as support groups, classes and workshops. Learn more about our Patient Resources.

Other Infusion Center Services

Other services at Moores Cancer Center Infusion Center include:

  • Antibiotics / antiviral therapy
  • Blood transfusions
  • Blood transfusions
  • Exchange transfusions
  • Exchange phlebotomy
  • Hydration / electrolyte replacement
  • Infusions for clinical trials
  • Inhalation treatment
  • Intravesicular treatments
  • Immunotherapy
  • Immunosuppression
  • Paxman scalp cooling "cold caps," intended to combat chemotherapy-induced hair loss (currently available at our Encinitas location)
  • Supportive care before and after bone marrow transplants

To decrease wait times, certain services are available in the "fast-track" area, including:

  • Injections
  • Central line blood work
  • Dressing changes

The services offered at UC San Diego Health's other infusion centers vary depending on the location and your type of cancer.

Laboratory and Phlebotomy

While lab tests need to be requested by your physician, you do not need an appointment for most lab tests. Check-in at the front desk of the infusion center. Lab services include:

  • Peripheral lab draw
  • CBC (complete blood count) testing
  • Chemistry testing (basic panel)
  • Bone marrow and fine-needle aspiration assistance

Some tests require that you fast (do not eat) prior to a blood draw. Always check with your ordering doctor or nurse to determine if this is necessary prior to your visit.

Note: If you have a central venous access device, such as a portacath or PICC line, blood draws require an appointment. BMT patients should have their lab work done at Moores Cancer Center. Other patients may be able to have their labs done at other lab locations.

Appointments & Referrals

Locations

UC San Diego Health has infusion centers and labs at locations throughout the county.

Insurance

Authorization may need to be obtained from your insurance prior to treatment. 

Your out-of-pocket costs may also vary depending on where you receive treatment.

Health Library