Understanding your options
Although receiving cancer treatments isn’t exactly an enjoyable experience, most of our patients would agree receiving them at Margaret Mary's Cancer Center makes the process a whole lot easier. Chemotherapy, Biotherapy and Hormone Therapy can all be used to treat cancer. The use of these medications helps to kill or halt cancer cell growths. These medications can be administered orally or through the use of an IV.
Because treatments are often given in cycles and can take hours to administer, our goal is to make sure you are as comfortable as possible during your visit. Our medical oncology department includes six private infusion bays for patients receiving treatment. Amenities in the infusion bays include televisions, plenty of seating for loved ones and large windows overlooking a four-season healing garden. Our nurses’ station is also located near the infusion bays in case you would need assistance during your stay.
Our radiation oncology department offers among the most precise radiation therapy treatment available on the market today. Our advanced equipment, including a linear accelerator and CT simulator, offers diagnostic and treatment capabilities you would expect to find at a big-city facility.
Many of our patients can benefit from Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a form of radiation that uses computer-generated images to deliver a precise radiation dose that conforms to the shape of the cancerous tumor. For our patients, this equates to less radiation to surrounding healthy tissues, better outcomes overall and fewer negative side effects.
What to Expect during Treatment
Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses radiation to kill cancer cells. During your appointment, the linear accelerator directs a high-energy beam to a precise point on your body. The beam is made up of x-rays or electrons that damage cancer cells in targeted areas. The damaged cancer cells are unable to reproduce or repair themselves, but the damaged healthy cells often can. Our goal is to kill the cancer cells and spare the healthy cells. Radiation therapy treatments are given Monday through Friday. The number of treatments you receive depends on the type of cancer you have and will be determined by your radiation oncologist.
Most radiation therapy sessions last 10-30 minutes. The majority of this time will be spent positioning you for treatment, performing necessary imaging and addressing any concerns you might have. The radiation itself will only be on for a short portion of the time. You will not feel anything when radiation is administered.
Surgical Oncology is a specialized area of oncology that engages surgeons in the cure and management of cancer. These doctors are specially trained to surgically remove remove tumors and nearby tissue. They also perform certain types of biopsies to help diagnose cancer.
If your cancer treatment plan includes surgery, you may receive radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy before surgery to shrink the tumor so it's easier to remove. Your surgeon will work closely with the rest of your cancer care team to ensure your overall treatment plan is right for you.
For patients in need of thoracic procedures, MMH partners with Thoracic Surgeon Julian Guitron. Affiliated with The Christ Hospital, Dr. Guitron is skilled in operations involving organs of the chest, including lung biopsies, lung surgery and lung nodule management.