Chemotherapy at home
Chemotherapy at home may be chosen by individuals to avoid the fear of travelling to a treatment facility. ZenOnco.io works diligently on bringing to your doorstep, one of the most common cancer treatment procedures. Taking advantage of the advances in medical technology, ZenOnco.io uses all available tools to tailor the care and deliver it to the patient in need. We allocate an experienced healthcare professional, after consulting with the oncologist. They administer dosages of medication and stay with you for the duration of the procedure. The treatment can last between half an hour and a few hours. Generally, the treatment is given with portable infusion pumps or tablets. The portable infusion pump is a pouch with the injection tube, containing the medicines to be injected into the body, by inserting the other end of the tube to a vein. It usually takes a few hours to complete the procedure without any complications. The tube is flushed to see if it is all working well. Then, the tube injects a vitamin solution into the body. The chemotherapy drug eventually goes into the body. There is nothing to worry about taking chemotherapy at home, as the specially trained health care professionals can deal with any complications or anxieties that might occur during the process. When something ever goes wrong, doctors on call are available round the clock for consultation.
Why is chemo at home required?
We believe cancer care has a better location. Just as telemedicine radically improves the delivery of primary care, so much cancer treatment at home can be handled safely, efficiently, and less expensively. As we recently wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, home cancer treatment could provide equivalent or better quality cancer care and greater patient satisfaction at a lower cost than the conventional hospital or doctor’s office care. Infusions of many cancer drugs may also be delivered at home, shifting the main cancer treatment venue from hospitals and outpatient clinics to the home.
People with cancer, who are at very high risk for complications related to the hospital, such as infections or blood clots, stand to greatly benefit from cancer treatment at home. For example, multiple studies have shown that treating patients with fevers associated with abnormally low white blood cell counts (often occurring outside the hospital during chemotherapy) is as safe and efficient as treating them in the hospital, at half the cost.
Evidence for benefits of home-based chemotherapy
Researchers have recognized the possible advantages of treating cancers at home, even with infused medications, as far back as 1989. Research by McCorkle and colleagues compared lung cancer patients who were being treated at home or in an office setting. We found that home nursing care reduced symptom pain and helped patients remain independent longer.
A 2000 Australian research found that patients with cancer overwhelmingly favored home chemotherapy. In the home-treated patients, there was no increased risk of complications, and the results were comparable. Home treatment was significantly much more cost-effective for health care managers than hospital-based care.
Longer-term research in US cancer patients showed, in 2010, that home-based care resulted in reduced use of emergency services and decreased hospital admissions for cancer patients.
Is home-based chemotherapy safe?
There is reasonable concern about chemotherapy drug administration outside of a medical setting. Such medications are, after all, extremely toxic, and caution must be taken in handling them. Adverse reactions to the drugs can occur in any environment, so care should always be taken.
Most procedures allow the qualified nurses to stay with the patient at home while the intravenous route administers chemotherapy agents. The home IV nurse is taking vital signs and checking for signs of adverse reactions to infused medications. Often, the patients themselves are being informed about potential side effects. The oncologists of the patient are kept in close touch throughout the process and are ready to respond in the event of an adverse drug reaction.
Ultimately, through careful selection of the patient population, protection of home-based intravenous chemotherapy can be improved. This selection is enabled by the advent of predictive analytics that allow oncologists and discharge planners to classify patients most likely to benefit from home-based infusion therapy, and least likely to experience adverse effects.
Advantages of chemotherapy for patients and providers
The benefits of infusion with home-based chemotherapy accrue to both parties. Patients show improved symptom control and better adherence to plans for chemotherapy. Treatment delays can be avoided since a spot at an infusion centre is not waiting. Visits to emergency departments and hospitalizations were reduced to avoidable. Finally, and most importantly for patients, infusions with home-based chemotherapy give them a better quality of life in terms of their moral and physical well-being.
For oncologists and their staff, in-house chemotherapy infusion provides the patient with precise monitoring through connected devices. Home nurses receive guidance that enhances the messages provided in the oncologist’s office. This support eliminates calls for other patients to the doctor’s office, opening up time for office visits and reducing waiting room times. In general, doctors and their staff are receiving professional satisfaction from realizing that their patients are being well cared for at home.
The cost savings achieved for the overburdened health care system was significant. This is particularly relevant in light of the trends towards improved cancer survival.
Reduce chemotherapy costs with the use of generic drugs, during chemo at home.
Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatments of cancer. The average cost of chemotherapy through IV, in India, is around ₹70,000– ₹1,05,000 per session. However, with the use of generic drugs, the cost can be reduced up to 85% less, depending on the type of drug. By this calculation, e.g., a ₹70,000 drug can be purchased at ₹10,500 only. Inexpensive chemotherapy drugs are one of the most critical factors for reducing treatment cost for a cancer patient.
The integrative oncology services of ZenOnco.io involves the use of FDA approved generic drugs for chemotherapy sessions, right at the comfort of your home.
We understand the strain of hospital visits during cancer treatment. Therefore, we provide chemotherapy sessions at home. ZenOnco.io’s chemo at-home is beneficial because:
- It reduces the cost of medicines by up to 85%, without compromising efficacy and safety of the drugs
- It reduces the expensive hospital charges
- You do not have to travel anywhere for your chemo sessions
We have a team of health care professionals who are specially trained for chemotherapy and are capable of handling any adverse effects. They will be present throughout your chemo session. We also have a team of consultant oncologist, who can provide medical consultation, if necessary, during the chemo sessions.
It is time to re-imagine the role hospitals, and ambulatory clinics play in cancer treatment. Rather of being the standard care venue, hospitals and outpatient clinics should be reserved for the minority of patients with cancer who need services that only hospitals and clinics can provide. People with cancer, from the comfort of their homes, will thank us for this move.
3. Oncology patient-centred medical home and accountable cancer care | Community Oncology