Expect more treatment options. Here.
Often, there isn’t just one solution for cancer. Each person and each situation is unique; and so is their battle with cancer. Technology and treatments are changing fast, and new, powerful options continually evolve, from minimally-invasive procedures to advanced radiation therapy and robotic-assisted surgery, along with the latest research drugs and medical advances. Riverside Cancer Institute is committed to staying at the leading edge of cancer care and able to tailor unique treatments that fight cancer in the best way for the individual.
Your Cancer Care Team
Your cancer treatment may involve several types of health care professionals who, with you, form your cancer care team. You may encounter a number of the following multidisciplinary specialists throughout your experience at Riverside Cancer Institute:
- Surgeon: Once you have been diagnosed, you may see a surgeon, a doctor who specializes in performing operations to treat diseases.
- Oncologist: Oncologists are doctors who specialize in cancer. Some may be known as medical oncologists, who treat cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy, some are surgical oncologists, who remove tumors and perform biopsies, and others are called radiation oncologists, who treat cancer with radiation therapy. Your oncologist will work with you to create a treatment plan. He or she usually acts as the coordinator of your cancer care.
- Oncology nurses: Oncology nurses have special training in cancer and caring for patients during treatment. They will help carry out the treatment plan your oncologist creates and will help guide patients though treatment with activities, such as giving cancer medications, checking your progress, and answering your questions about treatment. If you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, oncology nurses will monitor and help you manage side effects.
- Social workers: Social workers may provide counsel to you and your family, help you understand your diagnosis and treatment, and assist you and your family in finding support groups or other cancer-related services.
- Psychiatrists and psychologists: Psychiatrists and psychologists are specialists that can help if you have problems with depression or mental health. Cancer can be difficult for anyone to cope with, so make sure to seek help if necessary. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications such as antidepressants. Both specialists can help patients and families with counseling and other depression treatment methods.
- Rehabilitation specialists: People with cancer sometimes need help recovering after treatment. Physical therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and others can be helpful to many patients, depending on the type of cancer and treatment.
- Dietitians: Cancer and cancer treatment can make eating difficult. Some people lose weight, gain weight, or have trouble eating foods that provide the right energy. Registered dietitians help people maintain healthy eating habits during and after cancer treatment.
- Home health aides: Home health aides specialize in helping patients and family members manage tasks at home during treatment, and may help with everyday chores, such as cooking food or cleaning.
- Hematologists: Doctors who specialize in blood disorders.
- Radiologists: Doctors who specialize in diagnosing diseases by interpreting (reading) X-rays and other types of imaging tests.
- Pathologists: Doctors who specialize in diagnosis and classification of diseases by laboratory tests.
- Other health care professionals include but are not limited to lab technicians, radiation technicians, and pharmacists.
Surgery is used in several ways to help people with cancer. It provides the best chance to stop many types of cancer. It also plays a part in diagnosing, staging, and supporting cancer treatment.
Having surgery for cancer is different for every person. It will depend on the type of surgery, the type of cancer, and the person's health.
There are several types of surgery that are helpful to people with cancer. Some surgeries are used along with other types of treatment. They include:
- Curative surgery: Curative surgery removes the cancerous tumor from the body. Surgeons use it when the tumor is limited to a specific area of the body. This type of treatment is often considered the primary treatment. However, other types of cancer treatments, such as radiation, may be used before or after the surgery.
- Preventive surgery: Preventative surgery is used to remove tissue that does not have cancerous cells, but has characteristics that may develop into a malignant tumor. For example, polyps in the colon may be considered precancerous tissue and can be removed during a colonoscopy.
- Diagnostic surgery: This surgery helps to determine whether cells are cancerous. Diagnostic surgery is used to remove a tissue sample, called a biopsy, for testing and evaluation. The tissue samples help to confirm a diagnosis, identify the type of cancer, and determine the stage of the cancer.
- Staging surgery: This surgery works to uncover the size of the cancer or the degree of the disease in the body. Laparoscopy is an example of a surgical staging procedure. This type of surgery allows the doctor to look inside the body and remove tissue samples through a small incision.
- Debulking surgery: This surgery removes a portion of the cancerous tumor in circumstances where removing the entire tumor may cause damage to an organ or the body. Other types of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, may be used after this is completed.
- Palliative surgery: Sometimes surgery is used to treat cancer at advanced stages. It does not work to cure cancer, but to relieve discomfort or to correct other problems cancer or treatment may have created.
- Supportive surgery: Supportive surgery is similar to palliative surgery. It does not work to cure cancer. Instead, it helps other cancer treatments work more effectively. An example of supportive surgery is the insertion of a catheter to help with treatments and to draw blood instead of putting needles in the arm. Restorative surgery. Surgery is sometimes used as a follow-up to curative or other surgeries. It helps to change or restore a person’s appearance or the function of a body part. For example, women with breast cancer sometimes need breast reconstruction surgery to restore the shape of the affected breast.
Pinpoint Accuracy and Precision: TrueBeam STx Novalis Linear Accelerator and Brain Lab
This powerful noninvasive radiosurgery system opens up treatment options for some of the most complex and challenging cancers in areas such as the lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, brain and spine and central nervous system. It works by choreographing highly sophisticated systems—imaging, beam delivery and motion control allowing your cancer treatment team to “see” the tumor they are about to treat and apply very accurate and precise beams of radiation to it while compensating for your movement. This technology and treatment is fast and powerful and precise, with most treatments lasting only a few minutes and able to target tumors with submillimeter accuracy.
The Art of Minimalism: da Vinci Robotic-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgeries
While Riverside Cancer Institute offers advanced options for medical oncology and radiation therapies, we also offer many choices for surgery. This state-of-the-art da Vinci robotic-assisted surgical technique is minimally-invasive and extremely precise, resulting in less complications and quicker recovery times. With the advanced technology available at Riverside Cancer Institute, you’ll have access to the same, advanced treatment options available at many major cancer centers throughout the country.
Radiation therapy uses X-rays, gamma rays, and charged particles to fight cancer. Like surgery, radiation therapy is used in several ways depending on the type and location of the cancer. Certain levels of radiation work to destroy cancer cells or prevent cells from growing or reproducing. This treatment may provide a cure for cancer, control the disease, or help relieve its symptoms.
Radiation therapy is given through different methods, depending on the type of cancer, the location of the cancer, and your health and is sometimes used in combination with other treatments. Two main types of radiation therapy include external and internal radiation.
- External radiation: Radiation is administered by a radiation therapist who controls a large machine that points the energy waves directly at the tumor. Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells, special shields may be made to protect the tissue surrounding the treatment area. Radiation treatments are painless and usually only last a few minutes.
- Internal radiation: A high dose of radiation is given inside the body, either swallowed, injected or implanted, to be as close to the cancer as possible. Internal radiation involves giving a higher dose of radiation in a shorter time span when compared with external radiation. Some internal radiation treatments stay in the body temporarily; other internal treatments stay in the body permanently, although the radioactive substance loses its radiation energy over time.
- Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer medicines to destroy cancerous cells. Chemotherapy has been used for many years and is one of the most common treatments for cancer. Groups of chemotherapy medicines work in different ways to fight cancer cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow or reproduce. It’s common for cancer to be treated with more than one medicine at a time. Chemotherapy may be used alone or it may be used with other treatments, such as radiation or surgery.
Chemotherapy can be administered in the following ways:
- As a pill or liquid to swallow
- As an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
- Intravenously (directly to the bloodstream; also called IV)
- Topically (applied to the skin)
- Intrathecal (delivered into the spinal fluid)
- Targeted therapy: Targeted therapies use medicines designed to turn off cancer cell's ability to grow and to spread. They target only cancer cells, rather than all rapidly growing cells.
- Immunotherapy: The use of the body's immune system to help treat or prevent many health problems. For cancer care, immunotherapy may be used with other treatments to help them work better. Immunotherapy works best to treat early-stage cancers.
- Hormone therapy: Hormones are chemicals made by glands, such as the ovaries and testicles. Hormones help some types of cancer cells grow, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer. In other cases, hormones can kill cancer cells, make cancer cells grow more slowly, or stop them from growing. Hormone therapy as a cancer treatment may involve taking medications that interfere with the activity of the hormone or stop the body's production of the hormone. Hormone therapy may also involve surgically removing a gland that is producing the hormones.
Types of hormone therapy include:
- Neoadjuvant treatment: If hormone therapy is given before the primary treatment, it is called neoadjuvant treatment. Neoadjuvant treatments help to kill cancer cells and contribute to the effectiveness of the primary therapy, which is usually surgery.
- Adjuvant treatment: If hormone therapy is given after the primary cancer treatment, it is called adjuvant treatment. Adjuvant therapy is given to improve the chance of a cure.