Cancer treatment options are more plentiful than ever. At CHI Health Cancer Care, patients have access to the most advanced cancer treatment close to home. Our cancer treatment services include surgery, medical and radiation oncology, interventional radiology, treatment modalities, dedicated inpatient and outpatient cancer centers and a wide array of support services.
Treatment choices are affected by many things. These may include the type of cancer, how much it has grown (stage), and your medical condition. Often, more than one type of treatment may be used. You and your physician, together with the cancer medical team will decide on a care plan that is right for you. Below are some of the treatment options available at CHI Health.
Surgery may be performed by a general surgeon or by a doctor who specializes in treating the involved area of the body. It often is performed to remove or reduce the size of the tumor or to restore appearance and function after a tumor has been removed. Secondary therapies are used to further eradicate cancer cells. CHI Health Cancer Care has many surgical specialists, including:
- Breast Surgeons
- Colorectal Surgeons
- General Surgeons
- Esophageal Surgeons
- Gynecologic Oncologists
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Thoracic Surgeons
Chemotherapy (cytotoxic agents) is special medication that prevents cancer cells from dividing and growing. Chemotherapy can sensitize tumor tissue to radiation and increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment. There are more than 100 different types of chemotherapy drugs today which can treat most cancers. They may be prescribed by a doctor called a medical oncologist (hematologist/oncologist).
Cryosurgery (cryotherapy) destroys a tumor by freezing it using a thin metal probe. The probe is guided into the tumor and then very cold gasses are passed through the probe to freeze the tumor, killing the cancer cells. This method may be used to treat larger tumors than other techniques.
Radiation therapy is non-invasive treatment that uses high energy X-rays. It is overseen by a doctor called a radiation oncologist. Types of radiation therapies used at CHI Health include:
CHI Health Cancer Care has been awarded an accreditation in radiation oncology by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR accreditation was received after a review of the care given to patients at: CHI Health Bergan Mercy, CHI Health Immanuel, CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center and CHI Health Midwest Cancer Center at Lakeside. A radiation oncologist may use radiation to cure cancer or to relieve a cancer patient’s pain.
Hormone suppression therapy may be given to control hormones that can accelerate growth of some cancers.
Immunotherapy uses the body's own defense system to attack cancer cells in the body.
Targeted therapies are drugs or other substances that block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules involved in tumor growth and progression. By blocking signals that tell cancer cells to grow and divide uncontrollably, targeted cancer therapies can help stop cancer progression and may induce cancer cell death through a process known as apoptosis.
Genetic testing helps doctors target chemotherapy more accurately. Testing for genetic mutations can help identify cancer patients who will or will not benefit from specific types of chemotherapy. Genetic testing may be performed before or after surgery to determine if someone has a positive gene for a certain type of cancer.