Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center
A cancer diagnosis can be scary and difficult, not only for you as the patient, but also for your family and friends. At the Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center, our goal is to make your experience as easy as possible by providing comprehensive, compassionate care in one convenient setting, right next to the hospital.
Our board certified doctors, chemotherapy certified nurses, and other medical professionals focus on your needs and make sure you feel like a person and not a number. Patients appreciate little touches that make each visit easier, such a complimentary snacks, hugs, and conversation from the staff, in a relaxed environment where patients are truly treated like family.
Our Cancer Center patients have access to services through Mercy Medical Center, such as nutrition counseling, massage therapy, spiritual counseling, support groups, and assistance from a social worker. There’s also a healing garden composed of trees, flowers, and a fountain next to the Cancer Center that serves as a soothing place for patients to relax with family or sit alone to reflect.
One important feature of the Mercy Cancer Center is our affiliation with the UC Davis Cancer Care Network, a collaboration of hospital-based cancer centers in Northern and Central California dedicated to providing exceptional care to patients close to home.
The Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center is also accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, demonstrates a cancer program’s commitment to providing high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered cancer care. CoC accreditation is nationally recognized by organizations, including the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, National Quality Forum, American Cancer Society, and The Joint Commission, as having established data-driven performance measures for the provision of quality cancer care.
- Parminder Sidhu, MD, Medical Oncologist
- Pushpinderdeep Kahlon, MD, Medical Oncologist
- David Gallardo, MD, Radiation Oncologist
Cancer Center Services
Your priority is to get the best possible treatment for the best possible outcome. Since 2000, Mercy has partnered with UC Davis to bring comfort, hope, and convenience to people fighting cancer in Merced.
List of Treatments
Our oncologists treat a wide range of cancers, including:
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancer
- Gynecologic cancers
- Head and neck cancer
- Lung cancer
- Lymphoma, Myeloma, and other hematologic cancers
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancers
List of Services
- Advance Directive planning
- Clinical Trials - UC Davis offers more than 150 different clinical trials of the next generation of cancer treatments. Our patients have easier access to these clinical trials through our collaboration with the UC Davis Cancer Care Network.
- Financial counseling
- Interpreter services
- Lung Cancer Screenings- A study conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) showed that screening people at high risk for lung cancer with low dose computed tomography (CT) scans reduced lung cancer deaths by 20%.
- Nutrition counseling
- Palliative pain management
- Radiant Wraps - Specifically designed lightweight and silky patient gowns that allow easy access to back and chest areas for treatment and exams (given to our breast cancer patients).
- Social work services and a resource library - to help navigate the continuum of care
- Tumor Boards - Your doctor collaborates with teams of specialists through real- time videoconferencing to share medical information and agree on treatment plans. This means that each patient will always have more than one doctor developing their treatment plan.
For more information on our oncology services, call our cancer center at 209.564.3600.
Referral nurse phone number: 209.564.3630 (to speak to the nurse who manages new patients being referred to us from the community)
Referral fax number: 209.564.3601 (to fax new patient referral request/appointment)
Information needed for new patient referrals:
- Patient demographics
- Insurance card
- Pertinent information to referring diagnosis (pathology, radiology scans, doctor notes, labs, etc)
Classes and Events
Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center Community Programs
Gives an opportunity to anyone who has gone through an experience with cancer to share stories with others, learn from those who share and make new friends in the process. This support group is free to attend and open to anyone that has survived or is battling cancer. Family and friends are welcome to join as well.
Studies of massage for cancer patients suggest massage can decrease stress, anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue. We provide 15 minute sessions by a certified massage therapist for our cancer patients that have been cleared by their physician to receive on their treatment day.
Available to support women undergoing cancer treatment and experiencing hair loss. Come in for a free wig-fitting consultation with a trained American Cancer Society volunteer! One-on-one consultations include one free wig per patient, finding a wig that will fit your lifestyle, and suggestions for using wigs, turbans, and scarves. Appointments are required and are available Tuesdays from 9:00am - 12:00pm.To make an appointment call 559.451.0163 or 800.227.2345.
Fresh Start is a smoking cessation program in collaboration with the American Cancer Society. This is a free 4 week program that meets one-hour each week and is taught by a certified Fresh Start facilitator. In this program you will learn about the benefits of quitting smoking and gain valuable knowledge and skills in order to plan your quit date. Participants will be offered free smoking cessation patches, as well as a kit full of helpful resources.
Current patients who call during business hours will be connected directly to our office. Afterhours calls are connected to the operator who can contact the on-call physician.
24 hour patient phone number: 209.564.3600
For question or issues regarding your ambulatory pump, please call 209.564.3600 during normal business hours to be connected to our infusion room. For after hours issues or questions contact InfuSystem directly at 800.315.3287 where an oncology nurse can help troubleshoot ambulatory pump issues. Or you can download a troubleshooting tips sheet by clicking here.
Requesting Medical Records
Please visit or call Health Information Management to request medical records:
Address: HIM Department at the Mercy Outpatient Center Campus, located at 2740 M Street in Merced
Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm
Troubleshooting Your Ambulatory Pump
About your Infusystem WalkMed 350VL Pump
Your physician has prescribed a continuous infusion of chemotherapy as part of your treatment for your cancer. The most common medication that is administered as a continuous infusion is 5-Fluorouracil, or 5-FU. This therapy can be prescribed for a certain number of hours, or run continuously for many weeks. The pump will be started by a healthcare provider. This infusion will be administered in the vein, via a central venous catheter (either a PICC line or a Port-a-Cath). The exact amount of drug and rate will be pre-programmed into the pump. The rate and amount are locked features, so there is no way you can accidently change the settings. The pump will be in a protective plastic case and fits inside a black soft carrying case. Included should be an extra 9 volt battery.
It is a good idea to inspect your pump from time to time while you are connected to the pump. When the pump is running, a green light will flash indicating that the pump is on. The display will alternate between the delivery rate and the volume that has been delivered. This screen may go dark to conserve battery life. You may also hear the pump make a "whirring" sound as the pump works. Your healthcare provider should review with you when your pump is expected to be complete. Have them write down the time and date. Please return to have your pump disconnected as close to the completion time as possible. When the pump is complete, the pump will make a beep and display "END". The light will turn from green to yellow and run at a very slow rate. This will keep your central line open and working well until a health care provider can remove the pump.
Changing the batteries.
If your pump needs a new battery, the pump will alarm and the light will be red. "DEP" will appear on the screen indicating that the battery is depleted and a new battery is required. Open the plastic protective case and remove the battery. This will shut off the pump. Replace the battery using the 9 volt alkaline battery provided. Push the power button to turn on the pump. Press the button with the green arrow to restart the pump.
If your pump is alarming for any reason, please call the 24-hour customer service phone number: 800.315.3287. An oncology nurse will be available to answer questions about the pump and walk you through any problems 24 hours a day. If you have any concerns about side effects from your chemotherapy, call your physician at 209.564.3600.
For holidays, weekends, or after hour clinic hours, call 209.564.3600 and ask for an on call physician for the hematology/oncology service.
Prepping for Your Infusion Appointment
Your physician has prescribed a chemotherapy infusion. Your order will go to the reimbursement team to obtain any authorization for treatment. After the authorization is obtained an infusion team member will call you to schedule your appointment.
How To Prepare
Eat a light breakfast or lunch prior to your treatment. You may bring meals or snacks. Water and box lunches are available. Wear comfortable clothing. Get some sleep the night before. Take your normal medications unless directed otherwise by your physician. Have your lab work performed 1-2 days prior to your infusion. Please arrive on time as being late can impact your ability to receive treatment as well as impacts patients who may be scheduled after you.
Where to Go
Check in at the front desk of the Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center.
What to Bring
Bring any medications you would normally take at home this includes any pain medications you regularly take. You may bring someone with you. There is space for 1 visitor at a time. Visitors must be 13 years of age or older. You may also bring something to occupy your time such as an iPad, iPod, books, etc. We have complementary Wi-Fi for your convenience. If you require continuous oxygen bring your tank from home.
The doctor has prescribed some medications to prevent and treat nausea. These medications have been sent to your pharmacy. Pick up your medications from the pharmacy and have them available. You do not need to take these medications until after your treatment has started. You should have received education on these new medications. You will be educated on the medication again by a member of the nursing team.
Oral Chemo Education
Your physician has prescribed a cancer treatment that you will take at home by mouth. It can come in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid. It is important to understand that oral chemotherapy can be just as toxic as chemotherapy that is given into a vein. This information will help you take your medication safely and effectively.
Points to remember:
- It is important to take your medication exactly as it is prescribed. If you miss a dose, take the wrong amount, or take it incorrectly it can make the treatment not as effective and cause unpleasant side effects.
- Swallow your medication whole. Do not chew, break, crush, or open capsules. If you cannot swallow your medication whole call your pharmacist or nurse for information on other ways to take your medicine.
- Take your chemotherapy medication at the same time every day.
- Wash your hands before and after you take your medication.
- Always double check the dosage of your medication. If there is any doubt, check your dosage a third time. If needed, use a family member or friend to double check the dose before you take it. This is important because you might have to take more than one pill or a combination of pills to accurately make your dose.
- If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. If it is time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. DO NOT take a double dose unless you are instructed to by a member of your health care team.
- Store your medication in the original, labeled container at room temperature and in a dry location (unless instructed otherwise).
- Keep your medication out of reach of children and pets.
- If a caregiver prepares your dose for you they should wear gloves or pour the pills directly from their container into the cap and hand to you to take. The caregiver should avoid touching the pills. They should wash their hands before and after giving you your medicine. Pregnant or nursing women should not prepare your chemotherapy pills for you.
- If you cannot keep the pills down (you are having vomiting) call your oncology team for instructions.
- Your medicine will come from a special order pharmacy. They will call you before they mail the medicine. Call Mercy Cancer Center when you receive your medicine to notify your health care team. After you call you will receive more information and more instructions about your chemotherapy medication.
- Bring your chemotherapy medication bottles to every doctor visit. If you just completed your medication bring the empty bottle to your doctor visit.
- Contact your oncology team at the number below if you develop any unexpected or uncontrolled side effects.
- Phone number: 209.600.3045
- After hours: Call 209.600.3045, there will be a physician on call.
- If you do not understand any part of this ask your nurse or doctor to explain in more detail.
Understanding Radiation Therapy
What is radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy is the use of strong beams of energy to treat cancer. There are many types of radiation.
How does radiation therapy work?
Special machines send high doses of radiation to cancer cells or tumors. This kills cancer cells and keeps them from growing and making more cancer cells. Sometimes radiation can cure cancer. Other times it may be used to slow down the cancer and help you feel better. Talk to your cancer care team about the goal of your treatment.
What should I ask my doctor?
- What kind of radiation do you think will work best for me?
- What’s the goal of radiation in my case?
- How will I get radiation, how often, and for how long?
- What side effects might I have?
How is radiation given?
External beam radiation
Radiation that comes from outside your body is called external beam radiation. A machine sends high energy beams to the tumor and some of the area around the tumor.
When radiation is put inside you, it is called internal radiation therapy. This lets the doctor give a large dose of radiation right to the cancer cells and/or tumor.
Systemic radiation uses drugs to treat some types of cancer. These drugs can be given by mouth, or a needle can be used to put them into a vein. They then go all through the body. They go to where the cancer is to give off their radiation and kill cancer cells.
What can I do to take care of myself during therapy?
- Get rest.
- Eat healthy foods
- Take care of the skin in the treatment area
- Tell your care team about all medicines you are taking
Radiation side effects
- Feeling very tired (fatigue)
- Skin changes over the treated area
- Not wanting to eat (loss of appetite)
Details & Directions: Mercy UC Davis Cancer Center