Cancer Center . . . A New Approach to Cancer Care
The diagnosis of cancer is a staggering one. When first given the news, patients are typically overwhelmed with the speed and volume of information thrown at them. And not only do they have to learn about their diagnosis and treatment options, they are faced with coordinating that care among numerous physicians – all providing specific input in their care and treatment plan. The result is confusion . . . an overwhelming sense of loss of control.
But at Cancer Center, things are different. Here patients experience a multidisciplinary approach to their cancer care. Instead of having to schedule individual appointments with various physicians – which often results in missed work, unnecessary delays and communication problems – patients can see their entire treatment team in one day, at one place. For example, patients with head and neck tumors will see a surgical oncologist, radiation oncologist, medical oncologist and pathologist, as well as speech and physical therapists, all in one day. After each physician examines the patient, the physicians confer and agree on a comprehensive plan of care. They then meet with the patient and family to present their recommendations.
What Makes Multidisciplinary Care Different?
Many hospitals operate treatment teams that discuss individual patients, but few include and examine patients at these meetings. The result? Patient anxiety is reduced, time lags are eliminated and patients and their family members gain a clearer understanding of what lies ahead. These advantages really make a difference in each patient’s experience at Georgia Regents Medical Center. The multidisciplinary cancer program at Cancer Center has been expanded to cover all major cancer types, including breast cancer.