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Medical Oncology

The medical oncologists on staff at Cayuga Medical Center completed their oncology fellowship training at three of the country’s top universities (University of Massachusetts, Duke University, and Columbia University) and are board certified in oncology and internal medicine. They collaborate regularly with colleagues at several national cancer research institutes and are on the teaching faculty of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, one of the nation’s leading cancer treatment and research centers.

Our experienced team of cancer physicians and nurses provides the newest treatment protocols in chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and hormone therapy for cancer patients, including participation in clinical trials. We have two sites for chemotherapy. Cancer patients undergo chemotherapy in a beautiful, comfortable outpatient suite at Cayuga Hematology Oncology Associates, overlooking Cayuga Lake and directly adjacent to Cayuga Medical Center and on the east side of Cayuga Lake at Convenient Care at Ithaca.

Radiation Oncology

The Cayuga Medical Center Department of Radiation Medicine is accredited by the American College of Radiology. This certification verifies that our program meets or exceeds national standards of care in radiation medicine.

Radiation therapy is available through Cayuga Medical Center Radiation Therapy, which is located in a state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the medical center. Leading-edge technology (such as respiratory gating for patients with lung and breast cancer), clinical trials, and our affiliation with Roswell Park Cancer Institute ensure that radiation therapy patients have access to the latest radiation therapy protocols. The Cayuga Cancer Center also participates in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), which is a national clinical cooperative funded by the National Cancer Institute. The mission of RTOG is to improve the quality of life of patients diagnosed with cancer. The radiation oncologist at Cayuga Medical Center is a Roswell Park physician.

Oncology Nurse Navigator

Oncology nurse navigation is associated with higher patient satisfaction and improved rates of screening and follow-up among cancer patients, which can result in earlier identification of new or recurring cancers. At Cayuga Cancer Center, our oncology nurse navigator is Betty McEver RN, BSN. She brings to this role nearly three decades of nursing experience and patient advocacy. Her knowledge and compassion ease the burden of cancer treatment on patients and their families.

Our oncology nurse navigator:

  • Acts an interpreter and educator about cancers for you and your family
  • Helps patients and families navigate the medical system, from the time of diagnosis and through the continuum of your care
  • Serves as a liaison between you, your doctors, and the medical center departments involved in your care
  • Helps patients and families connect with community resources

Imaging Services

Cancer detection and diagnosis are critical components of successful treatment. The Imaging Services Department at Cayuga Medical Center offers the most comprehensive range of radiologic and imaging technology in the region. We are continuously evaluating, updating, and enhancing our technology and skills to stay at the front of current developments. The modalities we offer enable physicians to detect disease early, when it is most responsive to treatment:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including standard, open, and wide-bore scanners
  • Computerized axial tomography (CT scanning)
  • Digital mammography
  • Positron emission tomography (PET scan) and nuclear medicine
  • Digital ultrasound
  • SPECT/CT (hybrid nuclear medicine/CT scan)
  • Sentinel node biopsy for breast cancer and malignant melanoma
  • Stereotactic and MR-guided or ultrasound-guided biopsy

For more information on Imaging Services at Cayuga Medical Center click here.
For more information on the Convenient Care Centers in Ithaca and Cortland click here.

Breast Health Care

We understand women at Cayuga Medical Center. We know that mammograms make women anxious and that waiting for exam results is stressful. We know that safety, comfort, and leading-edge technology are patient-care essentials. And we know that women want individualized, personal care.

Our Breast Health Care program at Cayuga Medical Center provides this and more.

Cutting-edge

  • State-of-the-art digital mammography, ultrasound, and MRI.
  • Mammography and Imaging Services in three locations: Cayuga Medical Center and our Convenient Care Centers in Ithaca and Cortland.
  • Immediate mammography exam results before each woman leaves the department.
  • When additional views or testing are required, such as ultrasound, these exams are performed during the same appointment.

Compassionate

  • A staff of expert, empathetic professionals who specialize in breast care and are genuinely concerned about the experience of each and every one of their patients.
  • Only radiologic technologists who are women and are certified in mammography, ultrasound, and MRI perform exams.
  • Immediate access to the radiologist who reviews the exam when patients have questions or concerns.
  • Separate and discreet mammography suites at all three Imaging Services sites, for privacy and comfort.

Comprehensive

  • The full scope of services, including screening for prevention and early detection of disease, prompt and accurate diagnosis of breast disease, access to the very latest treatment protocols, educational programs, and emotional support.
  • Accreditation by the American College of Radiology of all breast care facilities.
  • Board certified radiologists and mammography, ultrasound, and MRI technologists.
  • A Cancer Care Program that is certified by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer
  • An active network of community services

Laboratory and Pathology

The Cayuga Medical Center Laboratories are under the direction of a nationally recognized specialist in cytopathology, which is the study and diagnosis of disease at the cellular level and plays an essential role in the identification and staging of cancer. Laboratory work is critical in cancer care and Cayuga Medical Center has a higher level of expertise in specialty care than many other hospitals in the region. Additionally, our pathologists are directly involved with patient care and make themselves available if a patient wants to talk with a pathologist about test findings. This is not true at many hospitals.

Our Laboratory is affiliated with the renowned Mayo Medical Laboratories, which serves as Cayuga Medical Center’s official reference laboratory. Mayo Medical Laboratories are recognized as a world leader in esoteric tests for clinics and hospitals, and have the highest standards in quality and service. Through this collaboration, Cayuga Medical Center provides timely, accurate, cancer specific testing and diagnosis for even the most unusual types of cancer.

Surgery

Surgery for cancer diagnosis and treatment is performed by board certified surgeons who are trained in the diagnosis and removal of tumors. A number of our surgeons specialize in certain types of cancer surgery, such as head and neck surgery, thoracic (chest) surgery, colorectal surgery, tissue-preserving breast cancer surgery, and plastic reconstructive surgery to improve physical function and to minimize disfigurement or scarring resulting from cancer or surgery for cancer.

Multidisciplinary Thyroid Nodule Clinic

Approximately eight percent of all thyroid nodules are cancerous, and yet, in typical medical communities, completing the diagnostic work-up can take weeks. Under the leadership of endocrinologist Dr. Adam Law, Cayuga Medical Center has established the Multidisciplinary Thyroid Nodule Clinic, which meets twice a month. In one visit, the team provides patients with a complete pathological work-up, the diagnosis, and the complete treatment plan before they leave the clinic. Our physician specialists have used this successful model to initiate other such teams in which experts work together to handle specific problems and streamline patient care, most recently with the creation of the Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic.

Palliative Care

We offer comprehensive Palliative Care Services to our patients to relieve suffering and to improve the quality of their lives at any stage of their illness, even at times they are undergoing treatment for advanced, chronic, or multiple illnesses. Because many of our palliative care patients move between Cayuga Medical Center and Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County, our Palliative Care Team includes professionals from both organizations. We have medical expertise in pain and symptom control, and we can offer patients and families help through counseling, social work, and spiritual care to address the psychosocial and spiritual issues that are part of chronic and terminal illness.
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