The Medical Oncology Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) specializes in diagnosing cancer and delivering treatments such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy/targeted therapy and hormone therapy personalized to your needs.
Developing your treatment plan
For most of our patients, a medical oncologist serves as their primary doctor. Your initial visit to CTCA will typically last three to five days. During this time, you will meet with a variety of doctors, including your medical oncologist, as well as clinicians from surgery, radiology, nutrition, naturopathic medicine and oncology rehabilitation.
Our medical oncologists work in tandem with these clinicians to provide therapies that minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and other treatments. During your stay, your medical oncologist will review your full diagnosis and medical history, and order additional diagnostic testing and evaluations.
At the end of your diagnostic evaluation, your medical oncologist will present you with a cancer treatment plan personalized to your needs. You and your medical oncologist will discuss the advanced treatment options that are available for your type and stage of cancer, and determine which options may be right for you.
If chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan, your medical oncologist will coordinate your dosage and schedule. You may receive chemotherapy alone, or in combination with other treatment modalities like targeted therapies, surgery and/or radiation therapy.
Throughout your care, your medical oncologist will work closely with you to monitor your chemotherapy regimen to make sure it continues to work for you, and help reduce side effects and toxicity.
Explore chemotherapy treatments
An individualized approach
Patient Empowered Care®, our unique model of care at CTCA, brings a dedicated team of cancer experts together on a daily basis. Your medical oncologist will communicate regularly with the rest of your care team throughout your treatment. He or she will monitor the progress of your treatment and help manage side effects like gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue and insomnia, and neuropathy. Your entire care team takes every measure to help you tolerate treatments, stay active and enjoy a good quality of life.
Throughout your treatment, you’ll undergo diagnostic imaging and lab tests which will allow your medical oncologist to follow the progress of your treatment. If the cancer is resisting treatment, or you are not tolerating it, your medical oncologist will modify your treatment plan or recommend using a different therapy.
The medical oncology team at Western
The Department of Medical Oncology at CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) is comprised of an experienced and compassionate team of cancer professionals.
With our Patient Empowered Care® clinic, you and your caregiver enjoy greater comfort and convenience by meeting with your care team in one room. In the clinic, your medical oncologist, clinic nurse, registered dietitian, naturopathic clinician and nurse care manager come to you, one after another, for a focused, seamless visit.
This means each time you meet with your medical oncologist, the entire team is automatically scheduled to meet with you as well, so you don’t have to worry about scheduling or finding time for additional appointments. You may also meet with clinicians from your extended care team as needed.
An integrative approach
The medical oncologists at Western meet with the other clinical areas at the hospital several times a week to discuss patient care.
"When patients come for their first visit we meet with them, review their case thoroughly, and develop a personalized cancer treatment plan. During this initial visit, patients also meet with our supportive therapy departments because we work as a team across departments at CTCA," says medical oncologists Dr. Richard Shildt.
“Patients choose CTCA because they feel comfortable here. They know they are in good hands and that the doctors are working together to fight the cancer," he adds.
Improving quality of life
To receive your chemotherapy treatments, you’ll visit the Infusion Center on the third floor of the hospital. Designed with your needs in mind, our Infusion Center is a calming environment that inspires relaxation. While you are there, a staff of kind, attentive infusion nurses will cater to your needs and make you as comfortable as possible.
Your care team will be as proactive as possible in anticipating and managing side effects so you can better tolerate your treatments and enjoy life. Prior to administering chemotherapy, your infusion nurses may provide pre-medications (prescribed by your medical oncologist) to decrease nausea and make your symptoms more tolerable. Your naturopathic clinician may also provide natural agents to help curb nausea.