From an interview with
Dr. James C. H. Smith
McLeod Oncology & Hematology Associates
Advances in cancer treatments take many forms. One improvement is the ability to target specific tumors, as McLeod Oncologist Dr. Jamie Smith explains.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Smith’s comments:
What McLeod has to offer in the area of tumor-specific treatments has dramatically improved over the years and throughout my career. Initially, the treatments were more of a broad attack on the cancer. We would treat a number of different tumor types or cancers within a specific diagnosis in a similar manner.
Now, we have the ability to narrow the treatment or be able to look at a specific treatment within a certain cancer type – one that is targeted toward those genetic mutations or specific changes within that tumor. This use of targeted therapy improves the outcome.
In both diagnosis and treatment, we can provide services that in the past patients had to travel quite a distance to receive these treatments and procedures. Now, we offer them here at McLeod.
I’ve definitely seen the ability to provide complete care throughout that process, both in diagnosis, treatment, whether in surgery, radiation, or in my area of chemotherapy. There are very few things that we can’t provide at McLeod that patients would need to travel elsewhere. They have the convenience of being at home receiving these treatments, rather than the inconvenience of having to travel a distance to receive certain treatments.
As we see patients going through treatment, we are reminded that there’s more than just the medical decision-making that impacts patients. There are many supportive aspects of a patient’s care that are important for us to understand, including their home environment, families, and emotional or medical support for the patient as well as family.
From a physician’s standpoint, we do realize that we play a role in the care of patients going through cancer-related treatment. Yet, there are many others that also play a big role. At the McLeod Center for Cancer Research and Treatment, we have supportive staff, social workers, front office staff, lab technicians, and nurses both in the infusion area and in our office. All those interactions are important to making the experience as positive as possible. So, we play a role but we’re reminded it’s a part of the process, not the only part of the process.
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