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Whole-person cancer care

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Anchor woman: Well, nothing can prepare you for the moment a doctor says, “You have cancer.” But you do have a say in the course of treatment. Dr. Ted Pollock is a medical oncologist for Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Good Morning.

Dr. Ted Pollock: Good morning.

Anchor woman: thank you so much for being here. One of the unique things about Cancer Centers of America is the whole-person approach. Can you define what that means when you’re approaching a patient from a whole-person approach?

Dr. Ted Pollock: Well, you’re treating a total patient. When a patient comes into Cancer Treatment Centers of America, they don’t bring their tumor in a satchel and put it down on the exam table and say, “Here, treat my tumor”. Their attached to their tumor and that also incorporates many of our complimentary services that are available.

Anchor woman: OK. So, that’s a very good analogy because it really is the whole person it’s not just the tumor it is the individual. So, when planning treatment for this individual this whole person, what is that look like?

Dr. Ted Pollock: Well, when planning when a patient comes in to Cancer Treatment Centers of America first of all we have a most up-to-date diagnostic equipment available to us. We actually have a new generation PET scanner, it’s called the Discovery 600, and most people are aware how important PET scans are for not only diagnosing but staging and actually following the patient while they're on therapy to see what type of response they have. Well, the Discovery 600 that we have in Tulsa - that can pick up a tumor as small as 2 millimeters in the lungs, where the current generations can only pick up tumors maybe 8 to 10 millimeters. And there’s only three of these pieces of equipment in the world and only one in North America and the one is at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa.

Anchor woman: And of course a key component to successful cancer treatment is being able to diagnosis it early.

Dr. Ted Pollock: Yes.

Anchor woman: And having this type of equipment gives your organization the opportunity to treat this patient and have a greater rate of success.

Dr. Ted Pollock: Yes. Yes.

Anchor woman: That is really exciting. OK. Again, when we were talking about the whole-person perspective as far as treatment is concerned how does a physician, how does a physician approach a patient using that type of philosophy?

Dr. Ted Pollock: Well, we individualize therapy for every patient. Everyone is different, a patient that comes in with breast cancer with metastases to the lungs or bones. There may be five or six a week that will come into Cancer Treatment Centers of America they all have the same type of cancer, many have them have received the same types of treatment, but they're all different every patient is different. And so we do empower our patients to make intelligent choices to help control their therapy by educating them about their tumor and therapies available to them.

Anchor woman: OK. So then the other question is how are you preparing the physicians to have that type of bedside manner?

Dr. Ted Pollock: Well, we approach every patient with an integrative model. A patient will come in to Cancer Treatment Centers of America and they’ll see either an intake physician or a medical oncologist and after their initial evaluation we’ll refer them on to a nutritional support team, our naturopathic physicians that help us out with complimentary services that are available. They’ll see physical therapy; we’ll have them see radiation therapy.

Anchor woman: And is it all under the same roof?

Dr. Ted Pollock: It’s absolutely; yes it’s all under the same roof.

Anchor woman: Wow.

Dr. Ted Pollock: So, in other words after they leave me they don’t have to go from building one to building five and then across campus again to building thirteen, it’s all under one roof. And that’s important for people that come in that are very ill and they're weak and they don’t have to travel very far.

Anchor woman: Well that is an enormous advantage. Being able to offer all of those services and also using the whole-person approach is really extraordinary. Thank you so much for being here today and telling us about this.

Dr. Ted Pollock: OK. Thank you.

Anchor woman: And for more information about Cancer Treatment Centers of America all you need to do is call 1-800-333-CTCA or you can log onto

Dr. Ted Pollock, a medical oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, was interviewed live about what whole-person care is and how it helps when battling cancer.

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