Cancer has been traditionally treated with chemotherapy. Patients were very hesitant and have negative views about chemotherapy, especially because of the side effects. Interestingly, the role of chemotherapy is on a gradual decline for cancer care. The patients that do require this treatment, we are well equipped to handle a multitude of these side effects, and many patients breeze through chemotherapy with ease.
The concept of immunotherapy is relatively new but is rapidly progressing and in most cancers replaces chemotherapy entirely. We see gratifying responses without many side effects. It not only includes checkpoint inhibitors, but many oral drugs which specifically target mutation in cancer cells and are very helpful in controlling the spread of deadly disease. There are agents that deprive nutrition to cancer cells by curtailing blood flow.
Phlebotomy is a procedure done when a patient has hemochromatosis, unexplained documented polycythemia or polycythemia vera. We infuse 250cc of saline in one arm and 250cc of blood is removed by a needle in a vacuumed bottle. Patients tend to feel better after the procedure. In hemochromatosis the removal of 250cc of blood and also removes 250mg of iron for the goal to keep the ferritin level below 50.
For many years, it has been a traditional practice in medicine that whenever a patient came in with anemia, the initial knee jerk reaction was to recommend oral iron. In most cases, patients stop taking the pills because of side effects and suffer the consequences of anemia such as chronic fatigue. Now the studies show using intravenous iron after a diagnosis of iron deficient anemia for a rapid response without any significant side effects. In our own practice, we have seen gratifying responses in improving quality of life for patients with. Iron infusion is not the treatment for all anemias. Patients have to be carefully evaluated by a specialist to figure out the exact cause of their anemia and receive a recommendation of the appropriate therapy. With premedication, we virtually do not see any allergic reactions to intravenous iron.
Bone Marrow Biopsy
Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration in adults is done on the hip bones. This procedure is done to diagnose/evaluate hematologic malignancies, lymphoma and unexplained anemia. This procedure helps us with in depth evaluation of the patient’s condition. We do our bone marrow biopsies in the office under sterile conditions, local anesthesia and intravenous pain medications. Patients become drowsy and sleepy but not totally out of it and tolerate it very well with a quick recovery time.
Other Infusion Therapies
Our infusion center is well equipped not only to serve our needs but provide infusion services required for other specialties. Other doctors refer to us to administer intravenous medications for conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatology conditions etc. It is more convenient and less time consuming for patients. We also give IV gammoglobulins to patients with immune deficiencies when referred by other doctors. We treat sickle cell patients with impending crisis with intravenous fluids and pain medications. With this approach, we try to avoid hospital admissions.
What We Treat:
We work hard to work with all of our patients to give them the treatment that they need. Below is a list of cancer and blood disorders that we treat, however, our work is not limited to the below types.
- Breast Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Colon, Gastric & Esophageal Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Brain, Head, and Neck Cancer
- Pancreatic Cancer
- All types of Lymphoma & Leukemia
- Multiple Myeloma
- Kidney & Bladder Cancer
- Anemia (All types)
- DVT / PE
- Chronic Leukemia / Lymphoma
- Acute Leukemia in Older Population
- Platelet Disorders
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome
- Bleeding Disorders
Our Infusion Center Administers:
- All other treatments requiring intravenous therapy ordered by other physicians
Second opinions are extremely important to make sure the diagnosis is correct and also to ease the patient’s mind. Our patients are encouraged to get second opinions and we also welcome patients who are being taken care of at other facilities to come to our office for a second opinion.
“I always tell my patients, I wouldn’t consider myself a good doctor if I hindered them from getting a second opinion. In this 21st century when knowledge is readily available, it is good ethics, competency, and a down-to-earth honesty that will continue to keep our profession relevant and enjoy the respect of the general public.” – Dr. Meelu
A second opinion includes a pathology and imaging studies review with a fresh look at the overall situation. Some aspects of the disease or treatment which may have not been emphasized can be explained to the patient. It is great satisfaction and relief to the patient when they get a second opinion and that doctor recommends the same treatment we are already providing or planning, confirming their care is in the right hands. This increases the patient’s confidence in our practice and our treatment process.