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Cancer Care

Do you or a loved one need cancer care? Do you want to know more about what cancer care really means? A cancer diagnosis can change your life. There’s the reaction to the diagnosis, quickly followed by more tests, a treatment plan, then the ups and downs of treatment. Things can happen fast because cancer is most treatable when we catch it early. PeaceHealth is here to help. We offer advanced cancer care close to home, plus many related services to support you and your family. 

Caring for you, not just your cancer

PeaceHealth cancer care is fully integrated. This means your specialists will work together to diagnose, stage and treat your cancer. They’re all part of one team devoted to your health and well-being. 

Cancer care teams often include:

  • Cancer doctors who specialize in chemotherapy or radiation (medical oncologists and radiation oncologists)
  • Surgeons (surgical oncologists, general surgeons and reconstructive surgeons)
  • Nurses who specialize in cancer care
  • Physical therapists
  • Cancer social workers
  • Other specialists depending on your needs 

Each member of your team shares their insight and knowledge. Working together, we create a treatment plan that’s right for you, and make sure you get any related services you need. As you move through treatment, your team communicates regularly with each other, and with you, to plan for the best possible care.  

What is cancer care?

Cancer is a very common condition. About 1.9 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year. The most common types include prostate, breast, lung and colon cancers. The good news is that cancer care has improved a lot in recent years. Now we can catch cancer earlier and treat it more effectively, with less disruption to your life. 

If you do have cancer, it’s good to know that PeaceHealth has some of the most respected cancer centers in the Pacific Northwest. You don’t have to go far to find expert, compassionate care.

Our cancer care services include:

  • Prevention: We offer genetic and lifestyle counseling to reduce your risk of getting cancer. You can take steps now to avoid getting cancer in the future.
  • Screening: We use the latest diagnostic tools, including state-of-the-art imaging, to find cancer earlier, which makes it easier to treat. Some screenings are recommended as part of your regular health care. Others are needed because of your risk factors or because you are experiencing symptoms.
  • Treatment: PeaceHealth offers advanced cancer treatments in all the communities we serve. This includes techniques like image-guided radiation, interventional radiology and catheter-based or robot-assisted procedures that make cancer care less invasive. Our cancer specialists will help you choose the best treatments for your needs and preferences. You and your family are always part of the decision-making, so you can feel confident in your care.
  • Integrated services: We take a whole-person approach. That’s why you’ll find many complementary treatments, wellness, mental health, financial and family resources tailored to your needs.

What’s included in a cancer treatment plan?

No two people are the same, and no two cancers are identical, so we’ll need to find out more about your condition through imaging and other tests. There are many cancer treatments available. It’s important to pick the right ones for you. PeaceHealth’s cancer teams are experts in diagnosis and staging for a wide range of cancers.

Once we know more about your cancer, we will work together to make a care plan. Your plan will outline treatment choices and a timeline recommended for you. To create your plan, you and your PeaceHealth care team will consider things like:

  • Cancer type (There are different kinds of cancer.)
  • Cancer stage (How much has the cancer grown and spread?) 
  • Cancer location (Where is the tumor? Is there more than one?)
  • General health (How are you feeling? What types of treatment can you tolerate?)
  • Personal and family preferences (What are your personal beliefs and needs?)

Most care plans include more than one kind of treatment. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are common for many people. Some plans include all three. 

What to expect at PeaceHealth

Whether you need cancer counseling, screening or treatment, PeaceHealth is here to help. We offer advanced diagnostic tools and treatments, many of which are less invasive than in the past. If you are diagnosed with cancer, we put you at the center of your care with shared decision-making and lots of support.

Here are some of the most common cancer treatments you and your doctor may consider:

  • Surgery: Your doctor may recommend an operation to remove cancer cells/tumors. If you choose surgery, PeaceHealth’s skilled surgeons will use sophisticated tools to make your surgery more precise and less invasive.
  • Chemotherapy: This treatment uses powerful medicines to damage cancer cells, shrink tumors and slow cancer’s growth. Chemotherapy is often combined with other treatments. There are more than 100 types of chemo medications to choose from, depending on your needs.
  • Radiation therapy: Beams of energy (radiation) are aimed at cancer cells to damage or destroy them. PeaceHealth uses advanced technology like intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery to target and destroy cancer cells while avoiding healthy tissue. This can mean fewer treatments and faster recovery for you.
  • Immunotherapy: This treatment boosts your body’s natural defenses against cancer.
  • Hormone therapy: This type of therapy can treat prostate and breast cancers that use hormones to grow. It may be used to shrink a tumor, slow its growth, or lower the chances of cancer coming back or spreading. It’s often combined with other treatments.
  • Clinical trials: Your PeaceHealth provider will let you know if there’s a clinical trial or research study that’s right for you. If there is, you may be able to access newer treatments being tested for your type of cancer. 

Why choose PeaceHealth 

Your care at PeaceHealth includes more than doctor appointments and medical treatments. We see you as a complex person and offer complete support for you and your family. This includes:

  • Whole-person care: If you need a social worker, family counseling, nutrition advice, financial aid or spiritual guidance, you’ll find many skilled, compassionate caregivers ready to help. 
  • Nurse navigators/care coordinators: In addition to doctors, most cancer care teams include a nurse dedicated to helping you understand the process. They are available to answer questions, help with scheduling and be your advocate throughout your treatment and recovery.
  • Support services: PeaceHealth gives you access to services that make life a little easier during cancer treatment. This includes complementary care such as yoga, nutrition classes, support groups, advanced care planning and survivorship classes. We also have a wig and hat bank to help you manage hair loss, a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment.
  • Continuing care: Cancer care doesn’t end when your treatments are done. You may choose to do rehab, physical therapy or reconstructive surgery as part of your future care. Regular cancer screenings are important, too. Our integrated cancer care means we can stay with you to offer care and support as your needs change in the days, months and years after treatment.

Next steps

If you are looking for cancer counseling or screening, PeaceHealth offers these services at many locations. Find a cancer center near you.

If you or a loved one already has a cancer diagnosis, you suddenly have a lot to deal with. Again, we’re here to help. To learn more, you can research PeaceHealth cancer specialists, or visit our health information library for cancer care information and resources. 

Cancer Care Locations near Ketchikan

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