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Treatment

The Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center was the first center in the region devoted exclusively to cancer treatment, and it continues to be a leader in the field. We use the area’s most advance imaging technology for the detection of cancer, and have access to a large number of specialists on our campus.

Cancer prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer and blood disease are important focuses within the clinical, education and research setting at Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center.

The Cancer Center offers complementary support programs and classes for patients and their families. It also houses Walla Walla’s only American Cancer Society Resource Center, giving patients access to the latest in cancer-related medical information. Our physicians, oncology certified nurses, oncology social worker and registered dieticians work together to coordinate your personalized care.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, the use of drugs or medications to treat cancer, is very effective. Cancer treatment can consist of one drug or a group of drugs that work together. Chemotherapy can be used in combination with surgery or radiation therapy, or as a follow-up treatment to a different form of cancer destroying therapy. The best way to deliver the drug to the cancer depends on the particular types of cancer and the drug or combination being used. The medicine may be taken by mouth or injected into a muscle, or it may be given through a vein.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses energy carried by waves or a stream of particles. It can come from special machines or from radioactive substances. High doses of radiation can kill cells or keep them from growing and dividing.

Radiation therapy is a useful tool for treating cancer because cancer cells grow and divide more rapidly than many of the normal cells around them. Radiation therapy is a local treatment, applied to specific areas of the body where there is tumor or disease.

Clinical trials

Your physician may discuss with you participating in a clinical trial. Clinical trials, also called cancer treatment or research studies, test new treatments for people with cancer. The goal of this research is to find better ways to treat cancer and help cancer patients. Clinical trials test many types of treatment such as new drugs, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, new combinations of treatments or new methods such as gene therapy. Clinical trials move the science of treatment forward, and give you as the patient access to the latest advances in treatment.

It may be helpful to bring a list of questions that you may have about your therapy to the Cancer Center. Some people find it helpful to bring a family member or close friend for support and to help them remember the information they are given during their appointment.

Anti-cancer drugs and radiation therapy can affect normal tissue as well as cancer cells, because they act on any rapidly dividing cells in the body.

The normal cells most likely affected with chemotherapy are bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive system and hair follicle cells. Your treatment team will be able to give you or recommend medicines to lessen the effects and most normal cells are able to recover quickly when treatment ends.

Side effects of radiation therapy are most often related to the area that is being treated. Although occasionally unpleasant, most treatment side effects are not serious and can be controlled with medication or diet. They usually go away within a few weeks after treatment ends.

Relief from many side effects of treatment can be gained through the Cancer Rehabilitation Therapy program at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

We are certified with commendations by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer

Member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers