When it’s cancer, you want a team that knows how to fight.
Lawrence General Hospital’s cancer treatment team works with doctors from Dana Farber Cancer Institute to help you leverage the tools you need to be a survivor. Cancer is a scary word, but science has given us many tools in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer, and today we are effectively treating and even curing cancer right here in the Merrimack Valley. So, take a breath, gather your team around you, and let’s beat it together.
Lawrence General has earned approval as a Community Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. That means our program staff is dedicated to providing patients with the highest quality of cancer care through a disciplined, dedicated, totality of care approach. Your team includes skilled cancer nurses, therapists, dieticians, social workers, pharmacists, lab technicians and physicians (oncologists, surgeons, neurosurgeons, urologists, ear nose and throat specialists and others.) The team draws on advanced treatment modalities like the latest chemotherapy, chemoembolization, interventional radiology and radio frequency embolization. Physicians from Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care provide medical direction and care as a part of that team at Lawrence General.
How do I know if it’s Cancer?
If you have noticed a change in your body, it’s important to get yourself checked out. Your primary care physician can help you decide if you need to see a specialist. If it’s not cancer, eliminating that worry is good for your health! If it is cancer, then early diagnosis and treatment is the best recipe for success. If you have noticed any of these common symptoms of cancer contact your physician:
- Lump or swelling
- A sore that doesn't heal
- Recent change in a wart/mole
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Changes in bladder or bowel habits
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
- Difficulty in swallowing or dyspepsia
- Otherwise unexplained significant weight loss
- Unexpected uterine or rectal bleeding
Lawrence General’s Community Cancer Program approaches cancer in four phases.
Prevention seeks to sensitize people to those things that can increase their likelihood of developing the disease like smoking and obesity.
Screening and diagnosing emphasizes such techniques as colonoscopy, mammograms (the Mammography Program at Lawrence General is licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health), PSAs, biopsies, blood studies, ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) and genetic testing for patients with a significant personal or family history with certain kinds of cancers like colorectal, uterine, breast, ovary and Lynch Syndrome.
Treatment may include chemotherapy or other forms of system therapy like monoclonal antibodies and biphosphonates and infusions administered in an outpatient setting. Lawrence General also involves those patients who qualify in a clinical research trials program for the most common solid tumors and hematological (blood) malignancies – a capability that is very unusual for a community hospital.
Management is that stage of cancer care that includes the patient in the process. The registered dietician will, for example, review the importance of maintaining a balanced diet that's rich in protein, whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables and essential fatty acids and recommends appropriate liquid supplements and multivitamins as part of a comprehensive diet plan.
For more information, contact Thora Healy, Cancer Registry Coordinator, at 978-683-4000, Ext. 8114 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.