patient and every journey is unique and will depend on where you are
at the start of your journey. Parkland’s Cancer Program is designed
to help you through your journey, no matter where you start. Many cancers
are curable, and many others can be managed through treatments and
support to help you continue to live a high-quality life.
Education and Prevention
Not all cancers are preventable. However
prevention is something that starts before receiving a cancer diagnosis.
Education and prevention is important in reducing specific risk of
for some cancers. Education can be extremely important for family members
who may be at risk for those cancers that are hereditary.
Cancer is not always easy to diagnose. A cancer diagnosis
may require several test and visits with many physician specialists.
Once a diagnosis is confirmed, your oncologist (cancer doctor) will explain
your options and begin to put together a treatment plan to provide you
with the best options for your cancer type and cancer stage.
Staging is a classification system, helping to categorize the
cancer based on location, growth, and whether or not the cancer has metastasis
to other body parts. With this system, the stage can be 0, I, II, III,
or IV. A stage 0 tumor is confined to just the tumor itself, which is
called carcinoma in situ. Stage I cancers are confined to a particular
part of the body, and stages II and III are locally advanced. Stage IV
usually indicates that the cancer has metastasized, meaning that the
cancer has spread to other organs in the body. Lower stages of cancer
usually are associated with higher rates of survival. However, staging
is only one tool that clinicians may use.
The most common treatments for cancers are surgeries, chemotherapies
and radiation therapies. There are different surgical procedures,
chemotherapy drug protocols and radiations therapies specific to the
affected body organ and cancer type. Some cancers are treatment
with more than one therapy. Some patients begin cancer treatment immediately
following diagnosis. Some cancers are slow growing and your physician
might suggest observing, which is what we call watchful waiting. This
means your condition will be monitored over time before deciding if
treatment should be started.
Nearly 12 million cancer patients are alive today after diagnosis and
treatment. Some are cancer free, while others may be living with cancer.
Life after cancer can be challenging. Cancer therapies may cause long
term problems that require close watch and monitoring over a long period
of time after treatment. Even after long periods of time, cancers can
reoccur. Survivorship is a program to design to help patients after
End of Life
Not all cancers can be cured. Dying is a personal journey and a time
where personal preferences can make a difference. The goal of End of
Life Care is to assist patients and families to cope during this time;
balancing hope with reality for end of life decision making. This is
a time where listening, supporting and assisting patient and families
in setting realistic expectations to help define end of life care,
maintaining a sense of control and dignity.