Personalized Care Close to Home
When you come to Carolina Oncology Associates, rest assured you are receiving access to the latest treatments in cancer medicine, while at the same time being cared for by friendly staff committed to your well-being. Our medical team works closely with each patient to explain all of the available treatment options: whether that be infusional therapy, oral therapy (pills), supportive care, or watchful observation. Below are brief descriptions of the major services and therapies available in Salisbury:
Arriving at the correct diagnosis is the first step in providing outstanding medical care. Often times, a biopsy of the suspicious tissue (breast, lung, colon, bone marrow, etc) is needed to confirm a diagnosis. Our physicians have access to the newest minimally-invasive procedures such as image-guided biopsies; all of which can be performed locally. With blood disorders, a bone marrow biopsy is sometimes necessary to arrive at a diagnosis. We routinely perform bone marrow biopsies in the comfort of our office. To assist in making a diagnosis and to aid in planning a treatment, we may also recommend state-of-the-art molecular testing (looking at cells, chromosomes, and DNA).
Chemotherapy consists of medications administered through a patient’s blood that kills cancer cells. In most cases, chemotherapy is given intravenously into a vein (IV). Increasingly, there are also oral chemotherapies (pills) available for many disease types. Chemotherapy is sometimes used along with other cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy, surgery, or biological therapy. A chemotherapy drug may be given alone or combined with other therapies to treat cancer, shrink tumors, or alleviate symptoms. Commonly, patients receive chemotherapy in cycles that allow the drug to act and the body to recover before another dose is given. The side effects of chemotherapy vary depending on the drugs used and the health of the patient. For a more detailed description of how chemotherapy works, click here.
Also, ask your oncologist about some of the newer chemotherapies that do not cause hair loss or nausea.
Biologic therapies (also called ‘targeted therapies’) have been a major advance in treating certain cancers and blood disorders, sometimes replacing the need for chemotherapy. In other instances, they work with chemotherapy and other traditional therapies to make the treatment more effective. Some of these therapies work by blocking the blood vessels that feed the tumors, causing less toxic side effects than conventional chemotherapy or surgery.
In addition to chemotherapy, intravenous treatments may include the use of antibiotics, blood transfusions, injections, or central line catheter care. Our certified oncology nurses are trained to work with both Port-a-cath (a small medical device installed beneath the skin) and PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) lines commonly used to administer chemotherapy and to draw blood for testing.
In addition to oncology, we provide advanced treatment and care for patients with blood disorders, including: bleeding disorders, anemias, and blood cancers known as leukemias.
Our medical staff also provides genetic counseling for patients with a strong family history of cancer. This process helps patients understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and family implications of genetic contributions to the disease. Genetic education and counseling gives an individual time to consider the various medical uncertainties, diagnosis, or medical management based on varied test results, and the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing.