The oncology team will work together to create an individualized care plan. Treatments often combine the use of medical, radiation, surgical, and other interventions to provide the highest level of patient care. We believe in tailoring treatment plans to each patient to maximize survival and to provide the highest quality of life during and after treatment.
Your cancer team will determine your treatment options based on your type of colorectal or gastrointestinal cancer. Your doctor also considers your overall health and your own preferences when determining a specific operative approach.
Most colorectal cancer patients will have surgery before receiving chemotherapy.
Patients with pancreatic cancer may benefit from robotic Whipple surgery. In the procedure, surgeons use the DaVinci surgical robot to remove the head of the pancreas along with the attached duodenum and bile duct, then reconnect the organs to maintain digestive function. The robotic approach allows use of small incisions and minimally-invasive surgery with the hope of decreased pain, shorter hospital stay and faster overall recovery.
Radiation oncology doctors use radiation treatments, also referred to as radiation therapy, to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The radiation energy injures or destroys cells and feeding blood vessels in the target tissue, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide.
Our physicians offer radiation therapy, which is delivered by a machine outside your body. A radiation oncologist will determine which treatment is best for you based on your situation, your cancer type, and the location of your tumor.
Your medical oncologist may choose chemotherapy as a part of your individualized treatment plan. Chemotherapy drugs work to kill tumor cells and are administered intravenously. In some cases, chemotherapy can be given in pill form. The type of chemotherapy that is used is dependent on the type and stage of cancer.
Chemotherapy can cause many side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and hair loss. These side effects can vary depending on the type and dose of drugs that are used. Your medical oncologist and the entire healthcare team will be actively monitoring your treatment to look for and treat these types of medication side effects. Multiple other medications may be prescribed to help alleviate these symptoms.
Tests can be performed on your tumor cells to determine whether and what kind of chemotherapy would be helpful for you. Therefore, your medical oncologist may choose to use targeted drug treatment to focus on specific abnormalities within the cancer cells. These drugs work by blocking these abnormalities, causing the cancer cells to die.