Your Treatment Plan

As a cancer patient, you are urged to take an active role in your care and make treatment decisions that are best for you and your loved ones. It’s critical to understand what treatments are available to you and the associated short- and long-term side effects. We strive to give our patients reliable and objective information about their choices for treatment while being ever mindful of their goals and life philosophies. Our mission is to deliver compassionate, comprehensive and patient-focused care.

As soon as you arrive at Utah Cancer Specialists, your physician enlists a team of clinical experts to find the best, most effective options to help you make informed decisions. Your UCS team works collaboratively, sharing information and coordinating your treatments, support services and care throughout your journey.

Your Utah Cancer Specialists care team includes professionals from every area of cancer medicine, including medical oncologists, advanced practitioners, radiation oncologists, oncology nurses, supportive care physicians and support staff. Your entire team is dedicated to providing outstanding, personalized medical care and compassionate support every step of the way.

Treatment Options

Medical Oncology is the study and treatment of cancer. Treatments include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and biological therapy (sometimes called immunotherapy). Most of these treatments include drugs which are infused into the body through the veins. Others are taken by mouth and some are injected under the skin or into the muscles.

Hematology is the study and treatment of diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs. Blood cells are made in the bone marrow. In healthy people, millions of new blood cells are produced each hour to carry out important body functions. The body carefully regulates the ability of bone marrow to produce the correct number of each type of blood cell. If this regulation process is disrupted and the marrow produces too many or too few cells, a blood disorder occurs. Treatments vary according to age, symptoms and blood test results, but can include transfusions, hormonal therapy and chemotherapy or radiation

Chemotherapy involves the infusion of chemical agents to kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. There are dozens of drugs that interfere with the cancer cells’ ability to divide and grow. This disruption of cell growth can kill cancer cells, limit the size of tumors and prevent cancer from spreading. A patient’s chemotherapy plan depends on their specific diagnosis and stage.

Advances in cancer treatment have led to the development of many oral chemotherapy agents which are now dispensed by Utah Cancer Specialist as a service to our patients. Swallowed with water, in the form of a tablet or capsule, oral chemotherapy can sometimes provide an easier method of receiving cancer treatment.

Your doctor will provide recommendations and options to help you decide the most suitable treatment available to you. If your healthcare team recommends oral chemotherapy, you will be able to take your treatment at home. But, you will still need to see your doctor regularly so that your progress can be monitored.

Biological Therapy/Immunotherapy uses substances to boost your body’s immune system. Your body usually makes these substances in small amounts to fight disease, and this treatment enables you to have more of them. These substances can be made in the laboratory and administered to you to destroy cancer cells or change the way the body reacts to a tumor. They may also help the body repair or make new cells destroyed by chemotherapy.

Hormonal Therapy is designed to remove, block or add hormones to your body to impact the growth of certain cancer cells and tumors. This can be done by medication, surgical removal of the hormone-producing glands, or by radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy can be given externally in the form of x-ray beams, gamma rays or beams of subatomic particles. Treatment with external radiation is usually painless and takes 5 to 15 minutes per session. The number of treatments varies for each person and completion of therapy can take several weeks of closely scheduled sessions. Radiation can also be delivered internally. Radioactive substances are either placed inside a body cavity or implanted inside the tumor itself. During radiation therapy, normal cells located near the cancer cells may be damaged, but these normal cells are usually able to survive and recover.

Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT or On-Board Imaging) involves the use of imaging tools to localize the area being treated, as well as verifying how treatments are delivered to the tumor. Radiopharmaceuticals 223Ra and 153Sm may be used for the systemic treatment of metastatic, multifocal local bone pain, offering the potential for pain relief with minimal side effects.

Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) imaging is a diagnostic procedure used in nuclear medicine to visualize metabolically active tissue using sugar or glucose molecules. These molecules, labeled with radioactive Fluorine-18, will be detected by the PET/CT scanner to generate images showing the extent of your disease  before we begin to make critical treatment decisions.

A Road Map for the Journey

A cancer diagnosis impacts the lives of every patient and family in profound ways. Our Oncologists, nurses and support staff are dedicated to helping each of our patients navigate through this challenge. At Utah Cancer Specialists, we believe cancer patients should be treated individually with a program that is customized based for their specific case, genetics and overall physical condition.

The care team at Utah Cancer Specialists maintains constant focus on what matters most – providing the best care possible for our patients. Through dedicated professionals, innovative treatments and patient-focused services, we not only treat the disease, but also help our patients and their families by providing therapies, education and support throughout the journey of treatment and beyond.

Patient Advocacy

Our dedicated team will not only help you choose the best options for treatment, but assist you in all aspects of your care.

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Educational Resources

We provide resources to further educate you and your loved ones about your cancer type, treatments, and support options.

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Clinical Research & Studies

Our cutting-edge clinical research provides opportunities to expand your options of treatment.

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Through your journey, you will face decisions about treatment and care.
We will provide resources to help you understand your diagnosis, and make informed decisions about treatment options.