Chemotherapy – the use of medications to treat cancer – has played a major role in cancer treatment for half a century. Years of testing and research have proved chemotherapy to be an effective cancer treatment. It may be your only treatment or it may be used in combination with other treatments such as surgery and radiation therapy.
One of the newest advances in the treatment and staging of breast cancer includes the technique of lymphatic mapping for a sentinel node biopsy. This minimally invasive procedure identifies the auxiliary lymph nodes most likely to contain metastatic disease from the primary breast tumor. The sentinel lymph nodes are then sent for special staining to detect metastatic disease that a pathologist would not detect with routine methods. Currently, it is one of the most sensitive tools surgeons have to accurately stage breast cancer. In addition, it offers the advantage of sparing the patient the risks and post-operative effects of a complete axillary lymph node dissection if the sentinel lymph node is negative. At this time, patients who undergo sentinel node biopsy are being studied under investigational protocols for regional local recurrence and overall prognosis.
The Surgical Oncologists at Lakeland Regional Cancer Center specialize in lymphatic mapping and sentinel node biopsy where the technique is also being used to stage melanoma and certain gastro-intestinal cancers. This is an important advantage for LCRR patients as not all surgeons at other facilities are skilled with these techniques. We encourage those with newly diagnosed cancer to be aware of their surgical treatment options. For additional information, you may find an article in the July 2004 edition of American Breast Cancer Guide helpful.
Radiation therapy involves the use of carefully focused, high-energy radiation to treat cancer. Approximately 50-60 percent of cancer patients are treated with radiation at some point during their disease. For this reason, Lakeland Regional Cancer Center provides the latest radiation therapies to aggressively treat cancer, including:
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) which delivers high doses of radiation directly to cancer cells in a very targeted and conformal way.
- Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) which is pretreatment imaging that helps deliver radiation therapy more precisely to tumors that shift as a result of organ motion and involuntary movement.
- Accelerated Partial-Breast Irradiation which is a tumor site-specific breast cancer treatment delivering radiation from inside the breast directly to the area where cancer is most likely to recur.
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) which delivers a highly precise concentrated dose of radiation directly to tumor tissue utilizing sophisticated imaging and three dimensional mapping.
The radiation oncologists at Lakeland Regional Cancer Center treat all forms of cancer; however, breast and prostate cancers are particular specialties. To learn more about radiation therapy, visit the radiation therapy sections of the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute websites.
For certain urologic surgeries, LRCC Surgeons can use the robotic system available at LRMC. Patients benefit greatly from the less invasive nature of robotic surgery. The da Vinci© surgical system is the first totally “intuitive” laparoscopic surgical robot in the world cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Benefits of robotic surgery include:
- Reduced trauma to the body
- Reduced blood loss
- Less post-operative pain and discomfort
- Faster recovery and return to daily activities
- Less risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
- Less scarring
The da Vinci Surgical System is currently being used for hysterectomy, prostatectomy, pelvic reconstructive surgery, as well as gastrointestinal and pancreatic procedures.
For an appointment or consultation, please call 863-603-6565.