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45

NCCN Guidelines for Patients

®

Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer, Version 1.2017

Some targeted therapies are given as pills and others

must be given into a vein. Some IV medication can

be given in the outpatient clinic, while others require

admission to the hospital. Intravenous methods

include:

††

An IV push, in which the drug is injected

quickly over a few minutes.

††

An IV infusion that can last from 30 minutes to

several hours. The medication flows through a

tube that is attached to the catheter. The flow

may be controlled by a machine called an IV

pump.

††

A continuous infusion that can last days.

Continuous infusions are always controlled by

electronic IV pumps.

Corticosteroids

(for example, prednisone,

prednisolone, methylprednisolone, and

dexamethasone) are man-made versions of

hormones made by the adrenal glands. The adrenal

glands are small structures found just above the

kidneys, which help regulate blood pressure and

reduce inflammation. Corticosteroids are not the

same thing as the steroids used by some athletes.

How can I learn more about

complementary and alternative

medicine

(CAM)

?

Even though they are often lumped together,

complementary medicine and alternative medicine

are not really the same thing.

††

Complementary therapies

are meant to be

used alongside standard therapies, most often

to prevent or reduce side effects. They can be

helpful for dealing with side effects such as

pain or nausea.

5

Understanding your treatment options

How can I learn more about CAM?

A word on corticosteroids

Corticosteroids can be given as a pill

or a liquid. You can get it through an IV,

cream, or by injection. They may be used

as an anticancer treatment or most often

in combination with chemotherapy. This

medication also relieves side effects of

treatment, such as:

††

Nausea

††

Swelling

††

Allergic reactions

††

Poor appetite

Corticosteroids can be very helpful, but they

do have side effects like:

††

Indigestion or heartburn

††

Swollen hands, feet, or ankles

††

Increased risk of infection

††

Changes in blood sugar levels with

high-dose or long-term treatment

††

Changes in mood

††

Difficulty sleeping

If your doctor gives you corticosteroids, be

sure to take them exactly as prescribed.