The medical oncology department at the Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center is a vital component of our cancer program. In addition to oncology services, the DCH Cancer Center's medical oncology department also specializes in the treatment of nonmalignant blood disorders such as anemia.
In the medical oncology department, patients receive chemotherapy and antineoplastic treatments in an outpatient setting. We also provide supportive therapy, including intravenous fluids, blood products, growth factors, antinausea drugs and antibiotics. The use of these drugs has significantly reduced many of the common side effects associated with chemotherapy, making outpatient treatment a more positive experience for patients. Most of our patients continue to carry on with their normal activities, such as work, hobbies, church and social interactions.
At the Manderson Cancer Center, patients will find a warm, friendly environment designed for patient comfort and privacy when needed. Patients can relax in recliners, watch television, visit with other patients and staff and move around the area freely. The staff understands that cancer is a personal and emotional experience. They are always ready to meet the needs of the patient, whether that is to provide education, hold a hand or simply listen.
Dedicated medical oncologists lead our professional staff. Our nurses are all certified in chemotherapy, and they hold additional oncology certifications from the national Oncology Nursing Society. Oncology pharmacists are located in our on-site pharmacy for our patients' convenience and to allow interaction between the physicians and nurses administering the medications. We also offer an on-site lab where blood can be drawn and results reviewed by the physician, enabling prompt treatment of the patient. A registered phlebotomist and medical technologist/hematology specialist staff the lab.
The radiation oncology department at the Manderson Cancer Center is as well-equipped as any cancer center in Alabama, offering some of the most advanced treatment technology available. The radiation department is designed so that patients can receive radiation therapy and brachytherapy treatments in a convenient and comfortable environment.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy: IMRT is an advanced radiation therapy system that delivers greater amounts of radiation doses specifically to a cancerous tumor while limiting the amount of radiation to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Linear Accelerator: The Trilogy and the Clinac iX linear accelerators (LINAC) will provide precise and powerful cancer treatment. A LINAC delivers a dose of high-energy X-ray to a tumor. The new accelerators will enable the treatment staff to use the latest technologies to give higher doses of radiation delivered with precision to kill tumor cells while significantly reducing doses to normal tissues adjacent to the tumor.
RapidArc: RapidArc™ radiotherapy technology is a new form of image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Image guidance improves tumor targeting, and IMRT shapes the radiation dose so that it conforms closely to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor. This means more dose to the tumor, and less to surrounding healthy tissue.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): A major advancement in radiation therapy. SBRT treats tumors in the body with the exception of the brain. A high dose of radiation therapy is directed precisely on a patient's tumor, and healthy tissue is avoided. Patients must meet specific clinical guidelines to have this treatment.
Stereotactic Radiation Surgery (SRS): Also known as stereotactic radiosurgery, SRS is a type of external radiation therapy that precisely gives a single large does of radiation to a tumor. It is used to treat brain tumors and other brain disorders that cannot be treated by regular surgery.
Dedicated Inpatient Oncology Unit
The Manderson Cancer Center is dedicated to the care of all cancer patients on an inpatient as well as an outpatient basis. Our dedicated inpatient oncology unit allows for expedient hospital admissions to a specialized oncology unit at DCH Regional Medical Center.
Patients receiving surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are overseen by registered nurses specially trained in the unique aspects of managing the oncology patient. The unit's chemotherapy certified nurses specialize in treating all stages of cancer and Manderson Cancer Center oncologists are on call 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) accredits all DCH Health System facilities.