Your Treatment Plan
Based upon your evaluation, your Medical Specialists Oncologist will discuss and explain your diagnosis and treatment options to you. Depending on your diagnosis, you may receive one or a combination of several types of treatment.
Your physician will work with you and your family to evaluate the risks, outcomes and quality of life associated with various approaches to determine an appropriate therapy.
Your individualized plan is determined by the extent of your cancer and the best available treatment options and approaches. Your physician will discuss possible side effects and benefits of your treatment, so you will understand and be comfortable with both the risks and rewards of your treatment program.
Team Approach to Treatment
In addition to the unparalleled expertise of your Medical Specialists Oncologist, you also benefit from the shared knowledge, skill and experience of the Medical Specialists team of nationally renowned and trained physicians. And for especially complicated cases, your physician also takes part in Tumor Boards at two area hospitals, where cases are confidentially presented to an interdisciplinary team of oncology specialists. These teams, which include surgeons and radiation therapists, evaluate and discuss patient cases to determine the best, individualized treatment plan.
Medical Specialists also prides itself on keeping your primary care and/or referring physician of your care. We have implemented significant safeguards to make sure your physician stays in the loop and participates in your hospitalization (if it is required). Your Medical Specialists physician is also always available to speak directly with your primary care physician.
Chemotherapy treats cancer cells that have metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body. Depending on the type of cancer and its stage of development, chemotherapy can be used to cure cancer, to keep the cancer from spreading, to slow the cancer’s growth, to kill cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body, or to relieve symptoms caused by cancer. All treatments vary.
How often and how long you get chemotherapy depends on the kind of cancer you have, the goals of the treatment, the drugs that are used and how your body responds to the drugs.
Radiation therapy is also used for localized cancer. Performed by a radiation oncologist with the latest technology, beams of radiation destroy or damage cancer cells so that they are unable to multiply. Radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with surgery and chemotherapy.
Should your treatment plan involve radiation treatment, your Medical Specialists physician will refer a radiation oncologist available on your medical plan and approved by your primary care physician.
Biologic therapy-a promising new treatment for certain cancers-uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer or lessen the side effects of some cancer treatment. It is sometimes referred to as immunotherapy, biotherapy, or biological response modifier therapy. Biotherapy can be effective in keeping a patient’s mindset “positive.”
Clinical trials are carefully designed patient research studies that test new ways to treat specific types of cancer. They often involve the evaluation of a new cancer drug or a new combination of existing drugs. Participation is completely voluntary. If you are a candidate for a clinical trial, your doctor or nurse will explain the study to you in detail and give you a form to read and sign indicating your understanding and desire to participate.
Hormones are released directly into the bloodstream and have a specific effect on cells and organs in the body, stimulating or turning off their growth. This may have a direct effect on cancer cell growth. Depending on your diagnosis, your hormonal therapy may be prescribed orally or intravenously. Hormonal therapy that is prescribed intravenously can be conveniently scheduled on-site at your Medical Specialists facility.
If the cancer appears localized (confined to one area), surgery may be used to remove it, along with any surrounding tissue that might contain cancer cells. Surgery is often the first treatment choice for many cancers.
For patients requiring surgery, Medical Specialists will recommend a surgical oncologist specializing in your respective diagnosis and available on your medical plan. We also pride ourselves in apprising your primary care physician of your care and seek approval from your referring physician before recommending a surgeon.
Complementary Therapy focuses on the mind, body and spirit, and are not intended to replace medical approaches, but add to a patient’s treatment regiment. Complementary therapies may assist patients in reducing stress, coping with the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment, and promote well-being. If you are interested in pursuing complementary therapy approach to your recommended treatment plan, your Medical Specialists Oncologist welcomes the discussion and will work with the practitioner(s) you select (i.e., homeopathic physicians, chiropractors, mind body therapists, dietitians, social workers, counselors, etc.)