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Screenings and treatments

Screenings

Early detection and prevention are important steps in the fight against cancer. We encourage you to have a conversation with your physician or provider about appropriate cancer screenings based upon your age, family history, and overall health.

Below are some of the many screening opportunities available through King's Daughters' Health.

Lung cancer screening

King's Daughters' Health offers a low-dose CT lung cancer screening (LDCT) program. Unlike a chest x-ray, a CT scan produces a 3-D image of the lungs that provides greater clarity and reveals more details. A CT is able to detect very small nodules or other abnormalities that could indicate lung cancer in its early—and most treatable—stages.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 55 and 77 years of age.
  • Be a current smoker or have quit smoking within the past 15 years.
  • Have a 30 pack year or greater history of tobacco smoking.
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer.

Learn more about the LDCT screening.

Colon cancer screening

DNA-based Fit Tests
Working through KDH physician offices, we provide DNA-based Fit Tests as an option for the early detection of colon cancer and other precancerous colon conditions. Patients pick up a kit from their physician's office, complete the exam at home and then return the kits where they picked them up. The DNA-based tests are much more accurate than previous take-home exams. Ask your physician for more information about appropriate age and testing guidelines.

Colonoscopy
For men and women of average risk, an initial colonoscopy examination is recommended beginning at age 50. Individuals at high risk of colon cancer (family history, etc.) may need to begin soon; talk to your provider. A colonoscopy is a painless procedure in which a trained physician uses a scope to look for polyps or other abnormalities in the colon. In most cases, the physician can remove polyps during the procedure. Many colon cancers begin as polyps and can be prevented with early evaluation and detection. Your provider can help you schedule an exam.

Skin cancer screening

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States—with more than a million new cases diagnosed each year. Home screenings should not replace a more thorough examination by your personal physician or provider. This can easily be done during an annual wellness visit or exam.

We recommend that patients learn the ABCDEs of skin cancer and complete monthly self-exams. Be sure to check both common sun exposed areas (such as your head, neck, and hands) and less exposed areas (feet, nails, buttocks). If you notice anything new or any changes, consult your provider.

Prevention is your best option. Protect your skin by seeking shade, covering up using hats and clothing, wearing sunscreen (as directed), and avoiding peak sun hours during the middle of the day.

Breast cancer screening and Digital mammography

KDH encourages women to follow established guidelines for routine breast cancer screenings. For most women, this includes a baseline mammogram at age 40, with routine follow-ups based on family history and other risk factors. Some women may need to begin screenings earlier. Talk to your personal care provider or call one of our Women's Health providers (OB/GYN): 812-801-0856.

We recommend women complete both a clinical breast exam (performed by your provider) and a digital mammogram as outlined by your provider. As part of your digital mammogram, KDH integrates what's known as an R2 ImageChecker; it helps our board-certified radiologists hone in on potential problem areas that warrant further evaluation.

To schedule a digital screening mammogram, call 812.801.0440.

Follow-up:
Once you have completed a screening mammogram, your provider will contact you with the results. If additional testing (such as a diagnostic mammogram or ultrasound) is needed, we will schedule the exams as quickly as possible. We're with you every step of the process.

Prostate cancer screening

Please contact your physician regarding appropriate guidelines for PSA (blood testing) and physical exams for prostate cancer. Based on updated guidelines from national cancer resources, general prostate cancer screenings are best utilized based on each patient's specific health status, family history and various risk factors. Thus, it's best to consult your personal physician to discuss what screening options are right for you. If the need arises, KDH provides advanced care radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Talk to our specialists if you have specific questions at 812.801.0603.

Navigational bronchoscopy

Navigational bronchoscopy (electronic navigation bronchoscopy or ENB) can aid in the earlier diagnosis of lung lesions, as it allows physicians to access up to 90 percent of the lungs through a minimally invasive procedure. ENB procedures at KDH use a device known as the superDimension™ navigation system with LungGPS™ technology, allowing the physician to navigate and access difficult-to-reach areas of the lung from the inside. A three-dimensional CT scan is used to create a roadmap of the thousands of tiny pathways inside the lungs. This allows the physician to take samples of suspected lesions and place markers for future treatment. Being able to sample and mark multiple lesions during one procedure is another huge advantage of navigational bronchoscopy.

Traditional bronchoscopy procedures reach only about 30 percent of a patient's lung capacity (compared to 90 percent with ENB). And with ENB, physicians are able to collect samples for biopsy without more invasive procedures, such as a needle biopsy of the lung, which puts the patient at much higher risk for a collapsed lung (about 30 percent).

By using navigational bronchoscopy, patients with benign conditions can often avoid surgery. If lung cancer is found, appropriate treatment can begin as soon as possible.

For more information about navigational bronchoscopy, contact the office of George Alcorn, MD, at King's Daughters' Health at 812.801.0828.

Treatments

KDH provides a comprehensive care program to all patients. Following a cancer diagnosis, a patient's first step is meeting with one of our Patient Navigators, who serve as a guide throughout the entire care process. Navigators assist with appointments, testing, and post-care follow-up. They serve as a resource for the patient and their family.

Cancer care is personal and designed specifically to meet the individual needs of each patient. Some patients receive medical oncology (chemotherapy/immunotherapy), others receive radiation oncology. Other patients may need both radiation and medical oncology services. Our affiliation with the Norton Cancer Institute ensures that patients receive the most advanced care available. Eligible patients may even qualify for national trials.

Radiation oncology

Radiation oncology involves the precise delivery of radiation to reduce and eliminate cancer cells inside the body. Radiation therapy can be used in combination with other cancer treatments or on its own. Shrinking tumors often reduces pain and makes other treatments more effective.

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) uses advanced imaging and immobilization techniques to deliver a very precise, targeted dose of radiation therapy to a cancerous tumor. The radiation is focused on the tumor within a millimeter of precision. This allows the delivery of very high doses of radiation to the tumor while minimizing unwanted radiation close to healthy tissue in the body.

The most notable benefit of SBRT is fewer radiation treatments. For example ... with SBRT, eligible men with prostate cancer (those with low and intermediate risk cancers) can complete a course of treatment in five sessions, once per day for five days. Traditional prostate cancer treatments generally require 45 treatments, given once a day for 45 days (Monday through Friday), over the course of nine weeks. That's a huge difference.

SBRT can also be used to treat cancers of the lung, spine, and other organs. Dr. William Porter, Radiation Oncologist with the KDH Cancer Treatment Center, will discuss options during the care process.

Hematology

Hematology includes a variety of blood disorders that may or may not be cancer-related. Hematology patients receive individual treatments based on their current condition and diagnosis.

Medical oncology

Our medical oncology team delivers personal, one-on-one care, recognizing that each patient is unique. As treatments often last several weeks, staff members focus on building relationships with patients and their families. Developing trust creates a strong bond, allowing team members to understand a patient's concerns. We encourage patients and family members to ask questions. Infusion bays have individual television screens, and most of the infusion chairs are heated for patient comfort. Our oncology nurses are highly trained in the cancer care process.

Medical oncology refers to the delivery of medications (chemotherapy) either through injection or pills. These medications are designed to destroy or inhibit cancerous cells within the body. Chemotherapy treatments can be quite complex. A team of physicians—through our affiliation with the Norton Cancer Institute—provides treatment solutions based on personal knowledge and guidelines established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Using national guidelines assures patients that treatments at KDH follow accredited guidelines based on the type and stage of cancer involved.

Various types of chemotherapy and immunotherapy medications are provided, specialized to meet the unique needs of each individual patient. Appropriate patients may qualify for advanced clinical trials. This is a huge benefit of our affiliation with the Norton Cancer Institute.

Technology

We offer patients the latest innovations in cancer care, offering world-class cancer care right here in Madison. There simply isn't a reason for patients to travel an hour or more to receive advanced care.

Varian Clinac iX Linear Accelerator with RapidArc

RapidArc radiotherapy is a major advance from Varian Medical Systems that improves dose conformity while significantly shortening treatment times. RapidArc delivery uses Dynamic MLC, variable dose rate and variable gantry speeds to generate IMRT-quality dose distributions in a single optimized arc around the patient. What this means for you is that we can now deliver continuously moduled doses to the entire tumor while sparing more normal, healthy tissue. Precisely conformal dose distribution and uniform target coverage increase the probability of tumor control without complications.

RapidArc technology delivers treatments two to eight times faster and increases precision. This improves patient comfort by reducing the amount of time they have to remain stationary.

CT scanner

The KDH cancer center houses its own wide-bore CT scanner to enhance our ability to provide comprehensive cancer care under one roof. Physicians and radiation therapists use CT images to help them coordinate advanced radiation therapy treatments. All of our radiation therapists are certified in the use of CT technology.

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