Almost half of all men and a third of all women in the United States will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point during their lives. And, unfortunately a cancer diagnosis often comes with little warning. The good news is research has made great strides and many cancers that previously had a grim prognosis now have positive outcomes. For anyone diagnosed with cancer, it is of vital importance you surround yourself with a medical team that is highly specialized to deliver the personalized care you require and deserve.
Lima Memorial uses a multidisciplinary approach to treat cancer. Each case is discussed at a multidisciplinary team conference to determine the best treatment for the patient. This team consists of medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologist, pulmonologist, dermatologist, oncology nurses, cancer registry, nurse navigators and palliative care. Let’s dive into the role of the medical oncologist a little further.
Medical oncologists are specialists who treat patients with cancer. Cancer treatments that may be ordered by oncologists include chemotherapy, biotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy or hormonal therapy.
Chemotherapy is a well-known approach used to treat cancer. Chemotherapy may be given prior to surgery to shrink a tumor — neoadjuvant chemotherapy, or after surgery to ensure there are no remaining microscopic cancer cells — adjuvant chemotherapy. In some instances, chemotherapy may be administered with radiation therapy, depending on the type of cancer.
Immunotherapy, sometimes referred to as biotherapy, uses a patient’s own immune system to fight cancer. It stimulates the immune system to work harder to attack cancer cells. Monoclonal antibodies is a type of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy may be used in addition to chemotherapy.
Another form of treatment to fight cancer is targeted biotherapy. This is a treatment that uses medications to identify and attack a specific part of cancer cells unique to cancer.
At Lima Memorial Cancer Institute our physicians are trained in both medical oncology and hematology. Hematologists specialize in the treatment of blood disorders, such as anemia, hemophilia, deep vein thrombosis, blood clotting disorders and leukemia, to name a few. Hematologists work collaboratively with all providers to ensure patients receive the best care possible. A patient’s blood problems can significantly interfere with surgeries, vascular procedures or dental work. For that reason and more, if a blood disorder is suspected, consulting with a hematologist is of paramount importance to the patient.
Throughout a patient’s treatment, the medical oncologist and oncology team members will monitor the patient closely for treatment side effects and the patient’s response to treatment. From the point of their diagnosis, patients have the unique opportunity to partner with a personal navigator who will be the link between them and their family and the entire healthcare team. Our navigators help guide patients through the complex healthcare system, eliminating any confusion that might arise. Patients will be provided with educational and emotional support during their entire cancer journey. Should patients wish to receive a second opinion, our patient navigators will assist in this process ensuring a seamless experience.
No one wants to fight cancer, but if you have to, the Lima Memorial Cancer Institute is the place to do it. As one of the elite programs in the nation accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, we take a team approach to comprehensive care. We have the latest technologies and follow the highest standards of care for treatment, all in a beautifully renovated facility close to home. The result is exceptional quality, strong clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction.
At the Lima Memorial Cancer Institute, Jennifer Hatton, MD., PhD and I are both board certified in Medical Oncology and Hematology with clinical and basic medicine research experience. In addition, Jennifer Cruz, board-certified physician assistant is a vital member of our team. Please contact us at 419-998-4477 if you have any questions.
Dr. Qin is a board-certified hematologist/oncologist with Lima Memorial Physicians at our Cancer Institute.