Specialty Care for Adults and Children
Adults and children who have cancer can get the specialized medical care they need through the oncology programs now available at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center and the Children’s Medical Center at Summerlin Hospital. The oncology teams for both programs have completed the specialized training needed so they can help guide patients and their families through all stages of cancer treatment and recovery.
The multidisciplinary team at the Cancer Center at Summerlin Hospital may include:
- A nurse navigator who will guide you through the treatment process
- Case managers
- Physical therapists
- Medical, surgical and radiation oncologists
- Oncology nurses
- Registered dietitians
- Child-life specialists
- Patient-family advisors
Depending on the type and stage of cancer, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of treatments. Treatments are targeted to help stop the growth of cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. New drugs have the potential to provide effective treatment with fewer side effects than traditional therapy. In addition, medicines may provide new options for patients whose tumors are resistant to conventional therapy.
Protocols customized to treat each patient’s special needs may include:
- Biological therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Radiation therapy
- Clinical trials
There are many types of chemotherapy and they work in different ways. Chemotherapy may be given as a pill, an injection or through an infusion into a vein (IV). Intravenous drug therapies are prepared on-site by specially trained pharmacists and are given by skilled nurses. Chemotherapy can be provided on an outpatient basis or as an inpatient in the Infusion Unit.
Surgery may be a component of cancer treatment. Specialty oncology surgeons perform a high volume of advanced procedures for both common and rare cancers. Surgeons may perform advanced surgical procedures using robotics, such as:
- Laparoscopic procedures and minimally invasive techniques
- Organ and skin-sparing techniques
- Continence-sparing procedures for gastrointestinal and genitourinary cancers
- Fertility-sparing surgery
- Prophylactic procedures for high-risk patients
- Robot-assisted surgical procedures for gynecologic and prostate cancers and nephrectomy
Radiation Therapy and Clinical Trials
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. The radiation source may come from outside the body with beams aimed at the cancer or from a source implanted inside the body. Clinical trials may be available. Clinical trials are research studies that test new drugs and procedures that are not yet available as standard treatments. All new treatments start as clinical trials. Ask your physician about clinical trials if you are interested in participating.
HIFU Treatment for Prostate Cancer
Summerlin Hospital now offers high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technology for prostate cancer patients, and is the first hospital in Nevada to provide this treatment for individuals with prostate cancer.
HIFU is a minimally invasive procedure that offers reduced side effects compared to traditional cancer treatments to help patients maintain quality of life after treatment. The process eradicates prostate cancer with the precision focusing of soundwaves to a targeted spot. Using the heat created from the interaction between soundwaves and cancerous tissue, HIFU destroys the cancer cells. HIFU is a one-time outpatient procedure, and there is no radiation involved.
Physicians Sheldon Freedman, MD, and Michael Verni, MD, have been providing HIFU in the Las Vegas area and participated in a five-year study on HIFU treatment even before its FDA clearance in 2015. The two now work with Summerlin Hospital to provide this quality prostate cancer treatment in a hospital setting.
Inpatient Cancer Care
If you are admitted to the hospital, your oncologist will direct your treatment plan and works with the inpatient care team, including the resident doctor, primary nurse, case manager, dietitian, physical therapist and social worker. Your primary nurse will coordinate your nursing care and communicates regularly with your doctor.
Preparing for Treatment
The following guidelines can help us work together.
1. Communicate honestly and openly about all topics, including:
- Your health history
- Current symptoms
- Prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and supplements or herbs you take
- Complementary treatments like massage and acupuncture that you receive
- Changes in your condition, including side effects
- How you cope
- Your personal wishes and beliefs
- Medical choices you may face in the future
2. Complete your advance care planning, such as a health care proxy or living will.
3. Come prepared to ask questions about your treatment.
4. Ask about cancer center support services and educational resources.
5. We will be your partner in your cancer care and:
- Keep you informed about how treatment is working
- Help relieve your pain and address any side effects of treatment
- Treat you with care and dignity, including respecting your personal wishes and beliefs
- Encourage you and your loved ones to ask questions
- Provide clear and complete explanations
- Provide information about educational resources and support services that are available to you and your family and friends
Healing Zone Meditation Program
We offer a meditation program to help cancer patients better manage pain, anxiety, fear and stress. Components of the Healing Zone include gentle trigger point release, myofascial release, stroking the back to turn off the sympathetic nervous systems and engage the parasympathetic nervous system, rhythmic rocking, positive affirmations, visualization, breathing, gratitude lists, forgiveness lists and meditation. The Healing Zone is available to all adult cancer patients who are currently hospitalized at Summerlin Hospital.