Orthopedic Oncology: Treatment Planning
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Your initial appointment with the orthopedic oncology team
When you arrive at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center, you will have a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts assigned to you. Each clinical area will provide an individual consultation and assessment. If orthopedic oncology is part of your care, you’ll meet with Dr. Schmidt and his team.
Your initial consultation with the orthopedic oncology team will typically take place at Dr. Schmidt’s office, just a few miles down the road from the CTCA hospital. For your convenience, a CTCA driver will bring you there and back.
Your schedule dictates the appointment date and time. “You treat cancer patients how you would want to be treated. I wouldn’t want to wait weeks for an appointment. Why should I make anyone else wait?” says Haber.
After your initial consultation, all of your care, including tests and procedures, will take place at the hospital.
Developing an orthopedic plan
Cancer affects each person differently. Before you begin treatment, Dr. Schmidt and his team will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that best suits your needs.
Your treatment plan is based on an understanding of the stage (extent) of the cancer. The process of staging cancer is based on several factors, including tumor size, location, type, grade (how aggressive the cancer is), and the presence or absence of metastasis.
Dr. Schmidt, and your other doctors and technologists at Eastern, will use sophisticated bone cancer detection tools and tests to accurately determine the location and stage of the disease.
You may receive a physical examination, blood tests (e.g., CBC), imaging tests (e.g., X-ray, PET/CT scan, MRI, bone scan), and/or biopsy (e.g., needle, incisional).
Using this information, the orthopedic oncology team will work with the rest of your care team to develop your individualized treatment plan.
“At CTCA, the treatment is individualized to the patient. It’s not a protocol that you either fit or don’t fit. That’s just not what it’s all about. I think the patients who come to CTCA don’t want that. They’ve heard it before. They want to go to a place where they are treated as an individual,” says Dr. Schmidt.