Patient Education

Patient Education



patient guideSurviving cancer begins with early detection and diagnosis, and continues during and after treatment. The Cancer Care Team at the Kennedy Cancer Center is here to provide guidance, information and the assistance you need to have the best possible quality of life, no matter where you are on the cancer journey.

Start here and learn the basic facts about cancer, symptoms, risk factors and treatment options. You will find answers to many of your questions about cancer here. 

Then browse the offerings at our Hope and Healing Center, which offers many healing and educational offerings.
Cancer is a group of over 100 diseases that begin in cells, the body's basic unit of life. Normally, cells grow and divide to produce more cells only when the body needs them. However, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. The genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them. The extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor. Tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (not cancerous).

 

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The most common type of cancer in the United States is non-melanoma skin cancer, with more than 2,000,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2011.

 

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Cancer that is detected in its earliest stages, when the tumor tends to be smaller and has not spread to other parts of the body, has the greatest likelihood of cure and long terms survival. For this reason, certain screening tests are recommended to detect specific cancers as early as possible.

 

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Your doctor may use one or more approaches to diagnose cancer: Physical exam. Your doctor may feel areas of your body for lumps that may indicate a tumor. During a physical exam he or she may look for any abnormalities, such as changes in skin color or enlargement of an organ, that may indicate cancer.

 

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Medical Oncologist A medical oncologist is a doctor who completes a three-year residency in internal medicine, followed by a two-year fellowship in oncology. A medical oncologist prescribes chemotherapy and works with primary care physicians and other medical specialists. Often, the medical oncologist is the coordinator of the treatment team, keeping track of the various tests results and follow-up exams performed by other specialists.

 

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The most common forms of cancer treatment are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sometimes, these treatments are used alone to treat cancer, but more often they are used in combination, either in sequence or at the same time. For example, chemotherapy is used as the only cancer treatment. But more often, you will get chemotherapy along with surgery, radiation therapy, or biological therapy.

 

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Clinical trials are research studies in which people help doctors find ways to improve health and cancer care. Each study tries to answer scientific questions and to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer.

 

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Key Patient Contacts

Louise M. Baca RN MSN - Cancer Center Administrator
856-218-5321

Eric Gonzalez, RN, OCN - Nurse Navigator
Appointment scheduling and treatment navigation.
856-218-5324

Abigale Hassel, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C - Social Worker
Patient support and information.
856-218-5322

Cancer Center Accreditations

accredidation

Upcoming Classes

Art Discovery Workshops - 10/22/2014
The act of creating art in a nourishing, peaceful environment often allows the mind and body to relax, and experience stillness, a zone of acceptance that carries on to daily activity. Explore your creativity through various art techniques, including drawing, painting, collage, and clay in a supportive and playful environment.

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Well-Being Yoga - Afternoon - 10/23/2014
Yoga, which increases flexibility, range of motion and strength, may bring additional benefits both during and after cancer treatments. When tension is released, energy flows more easily in the body, allowing participants to experience a sense of well-being.

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