Treatment Options & Services
Aurora BayCare Medical Center provides patients with a cancer care coordinator who serves as an advocate for patients, helping them navigate the medical system and emotionally supporting them throughout their diagnosis and treatment. Our cancer care coordinator makes sure patients have access to the resources they need to make informed health care decisions so they can play an active role in their own care as well as work together with physicians to implement and promote multidisciplinary cancer programs.
Aurora BayCare participates in national clinical trials of new drugs and treatments that promise to significantly advance the fight against cancer.
Our experts can often suggest treatment options that no other hospitals may be able to provide.
Colorectal: Surgery is the primary form of treatment used with colorectal cancer. Our surgeons specialize in removal of tumors, applying techniques focused on reducing the rate of local recurrence and improving survival rates that also preserve the integrity of the bowel and minimize the need for a permanent stoma (an external outlet to the intestines).
Specialized surgical procedures include anal sphincter repair and reconstruction, total mesorectal excision (TME), laparoscopic and open colon resection, coloanal and "J pouch" construction, ileoanal pouch procedures, transanal excision, transanal endoscopic microsurgical excision (TEMS), sentinel lymph node mapping, hepatic resection/cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation and hepatic artery infusion pumps.
Prostate: Surgery to remove the prostate is performed if the cancer has not spread to other areas of the body. Prostate cancers that have spread are treated with a combination of therapies. Several different types of surgery are available. Which one is used depends on the nature of the cancer itself, the patient's preference, medical status and physician recommendation:
Lung: Often the most effective way to deal with lung cancer, particularly non-small cell lung cancer, is to remove tumors surgically. The type of surgery a doctor performs depends on the location of the tumor in the lung. An operation to remove only a small part of the lung is called a segmental or wedge resection. When the surgeon removes an entire lobe of the lung, the procedure is called a lobectomy. Pneumonectomy is the removal of an entire lung.
Some tumors are inoperable (cannot be removed by surgery) because of the size or location, and some patients cannot have surgery for other medical reasons. Usually surgery is combined with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or both. Traditional lung cancer surgery involves an open incision and removal of all or part of the diseased lung. Open-incision surgery has long been the first line of treatment. It is sometimes considered the best treatment option, but has more risks and disadvantages than less-invasive video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.
Minimally invasive surgical options
Colorectal: Hand-Assisted Laparoscopic Surgery (HALS) Tumor Surgery is a minimally invasive surgical approach that requires only a few small incisions in the abdomen. A 12-inch incision is required for traditional open surgery. A thin, lighted tube and tiny video camera are inserted to allow magnified views of the surgical site on a video monitor. A unique collapsible port holds open one of the small incisions in the patient's abdomen. It fits around the surgeon's fingers, allowing access to the tumor site so the cancerous section of the colon can be cut and removed while the remaining colon segments are repaired. Because the surgeon can grip and feel the tumor site, HALS provides advantages over traditional laparoscopic surgery that utilizes only surgical instruments:
Lung: Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) is a minimally invasive surgery using a "scope" to access the cancer. Instead of a single longer incision, VATS involves just 3 small incisions, a tiny video camera and special instruments. Pain, hospital stay, blood loss, recovery and risk of complications are significantly less than traditional surgery. Hospital stays are shortened by up to 60%. Most surgical patients are eligible for VATS, and short-term results have found that cancer control is equal to traditional surgery.
Radiation oncology. A sophisticated and effective way to treat many kinds of cancer, radiation oncology uses highly advanced technology and innovative treatment techniques to destroy cancer cells or to prevent diseased cells from growing. Our team includes radiation oncologists at the forefront of their field who specialize in stereotactic radiosurgery, HDR brachytherapy, breast brachytherapy, prostate seed implants, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and 3D external beam.
Immunotherapy. The ability of the immune system to identify and destroy tumor cells has led to its use in cancer treatment. By stimulating the body's immune system, cancer cells may be destroyed without damaging healthy tissue.
Immunotherapy is relatively non-toxic, so it can be used in combination with radiation or chemotherapy to enhance cancerous cell killing activity.
Chemotherapy. Advances in the effectiveness of cancer-fighting drugs has kept chemotherapy at the forefront in the fight against cancer. Often used in combination with other therapies, chemotherapy is frequently used to combat cancers with or without radiation therapy and surgery.
Chemoembolization. Used to treat cancer that has metastasized to the liver, chemoembolization delivers treatment directly to the malignant tumor. In this procedure, a catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin and guided (using X-ray imaging) to the artery that supplies blood to the tumor. Once the catheter is in place, chemotherapy agents are administered to the tumor along with particles that block the flow of blood to it.
Chemoembolization attacks cancer in two ways: by delivering agents toxic to cancer cells and by depriving the cells of oxygen and nutrients.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This minimally invasive treatment is used to destroy tumors from within. A hollow-core needle is guided into the tumor's center using imaging technology such as CT or x-ray. Small tines are then deployed from the placement needle's tip, penetrating the volume of the tumor. Radio frequency energy is then sent through the needle into the tines, destroying the cancerous cells in the tumor.