Posted: Monday, June 17, 2024

Comprehensive Cancer Care Resources

A cancer diagnosis affects not only patients but also their families, friends and the community. The availability of cancer care support and resources significantly impacts treatment outcomes and quality of life. Blount Memorial Hospital has a longstanding commitment to enhancing survival rates and supporting those in our community with cancer through the Blount Memorial Cancer Center.

The Blount Memorial Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer, which is a rigorous accreditation process holding physicians and staff members to high standards. The Cancer Center houses a well-equipped radiation oncology department, offering advanced cancer treatment technologies. At the heart of the radiation therapy offerings is the Varian TrueBeam™ linear accelerator. This sophisticated machine delivers multiple radiation therapy treatment options, including Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), stereotactic radiosurgery for brain tumors, stereotactic radiation therapy for early-stage soft tissue cancers, 4-D computed tomography (CT) scanning, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), 3-D treatments and electron-based treatments for superficial tumors such as skin cancers.

“The Truebeam™ has on-board X-rays as well as CT imaging which can generate images while the patient is lying in the treatment position. This ensures the dose is being delivered accurately and precisely through Image Guided Radiation Therapy or IGRT. The radiation treatment room also is equipped with an optical surface management system that communicates the position of the patient in three-dimensional space for accuracy,” explained Dr. Maikel Botros, radiation oncologist and Blount Memorial Cancer Center medical director.

The radiation oncology department also provides brachytherapy, a treatment for skin cancers that can be completed with as few as eight non-invasive sessions. Brachytherapy also may be used to treat gynecologic malignancies such as cervical and uterine cancers. For prostate cancer patients, radioactive seeds offer a viable treatment option for those who qualify. “Blount Memorial continues to invest in the Cancer Center and provide high-quality care to this community. Last year, a new robotic bronchoscopy suite was added to allow our lung physicians to biopsy small lung nodules, potentially diagnosing lung cancer at an earlier stage and directly improving the cure rate,” Dr. Botros said.

To ensure cancer patients and families receive comprehensive care and support, each radiation therapy consultation includes a meeting with a social worker. Patients also are given the opportunity to be referred to palliative care, and a dietitian is available for those undergoing treatment. Nurse navigators, specializing in breast and lung cancers, play a crucial role from the beginning of a patient’s journey, serving as care coordinators and educators, and often being the first point of contact for patients.

A vital cancer support resource is the Total Rehabilitation MEND clinic, which is staffed by specially trained, certified providers specializing in wound care, lymphedema, pelvic floor dysfunction and physical therapy. The MEND clinic also addresses chemotherapy-induced “brain fog” and offers a comprehensive speech therapy and swallowing program for head and neck cancer patients. 

Not all services will be needed by all patients, but it’s important to know that these cancer care resources are available in our community.?The Blount Memorial Cancer Center staff share the common goal of doing what’s in the patient's best interest and offer every resource available to anticipate and address patient needs.

For more information about the Blount Memorial Cancer Center, call 865-977-5534.

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