Focused on early detection
Discovering cancer at the earliest stages offers the best opportunity for successful treatment. Whether it’s offering screening exams or holding health education events in the community, part of our comprehensive care focuses on prevention. Our cancer specialists (oncologists) utilize state-of-the-art diagnostic technology that has the capability to detect cancer at the earliest stages. Accurate diagnosis is a crucial part of developing an effective treatment plan, and our oncologists have the expertise to diagnose and plan a comprehensive treatment strategy through:
- Advanced imaging technology – Computerized tomography (CT or CAT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound imaging (sonography), positron emission tomography (PET), PET/CT scanning and other advanced imaging technologies provide a detailed picture of internal organs and tissues to detect cancer.
- Breast cancer detection – Sophisticated breast imaging technologies such as digital mammography and breast MRI.
- Biopsy – Biopsies determine whether cells are cancerous and if so, determine the type and stage of cancer.
Doctors plan treatment by consulting with surgeons and chemotherapy and radiation specialists to develop the most effective approach. In most cases, several treatment options are combined to provide the most comprehensive treatment. Our multidisciplinary cancer care team includes primary care doctors, oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, nurses, pain management specialists, dietitians and other professionals who work together to provide individualized care. Treatment options include:
Chemotherapy: Uses chemicals to destroy or slow the growth of cancer cells. Surgeons often use chemotherapy in conjunction with surgery to destroy surrounding tissue after a tumor is removed.
Hormone therapy: Can kill cancer cells, or slow or stop their growth. Doctors can prescribe medications that affect the activity or production of hormones or may surgically remove a gland that produces hormones.
Radiation therapy: Precisely targeted radiation to destroy cancer cells and minimize damage to healthy, surrounding tissue. Doctors utilize a range of sophisticated techniques to fit the needs of each patient, including:
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT): Utilizes computer technology to create a 3-D image of the tumor so radiation beams can be focused precisely on the treatment area.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): Further refines 3D-CRT capability by allowing the radiologist to customize the dose of radiation to the size and shape of the tumor, and restrict exposure to healthy tissue. This method is used to treat tumors that are close to vital organs or structures, such as the spinal cord, brain or liver.
- Brachytherapy: Small catheters (thin, flexible tubes) are used to administer high doses of radioactive sources directly into cancerous tissue. This method is often used to treat prostate, breast, cervical and lung cancer.
- Radiosurgery: Also known as stereotactic radiosurgery, this non-invasive technique uses focused beams of radiation to treat cancerous tissues without a surgical opening.
- Surgery: When surgery presents the best option, doctors utilize minimally invasive techniques whenever possible, including robotic surgery, which gives surgeons greater precision and can offer patients less scarring and a faster recovery.
Minimizing your risk of cancer
As part of Rockledge Regional Medical Center's comprehensive care, our cancer care specialists are dedicated to preventive education to help you lower your risk of developing cancer. By incorporating these healthy habits into your lifestyle, you can reduce your risk:
- Avoid all tobacco products and secondhand smoke.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise 30 minutes or more daily.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoid high-fat foods.
- Wear sunscreen or protective clothing outdoors to protect yourself from the sun.
- Abstain from drinking alcohol or practice moderation if you drink.
- Take early detection seriously and talk to your doctor about screenings that are appropriate for you.
Cancer Care for Men
Various types of cancer are of particular concern to men, such as prostate, lung, skin and colorectal cancers. Rockledge Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive care that combines advanced technology, medical expertise and a full range of support and recovery services to address the needs of men living with cancer. Our cancer care professionals provide a wide range of cancer treatment options, including:
- Hormone therapy
- Radiation therapy, including radiosurgery and brachytherapy for prostate cancer
- Surgery, including minimally invasive and robotic surgery options
Cancer Care for Women
Rockledge Regional Medical Center's cancer care professionals are focused on exceptional, patient-centered care that includes support and specialty services designed just for women. Whether it’s breast cancer, cervical cancer, or another cancer that affects women, Rockledge Regional Medical Center offers a range of cancer treatment options, including:
- Breast lump removal
- Mastectomy and breast reconstruction
- Radiation therapy, including MammoSite® brachytherapy for breast cancer
- Minimally invasive and robotic surgery
Cancer support services
An important part of Rockledge Regional Medical Center's comprehensive care is to address the emotional and spiritual needs of our patients, so we offer a full range of support services, including health and nutrition counseling, support groups and more.
Akriti Dewanwala, MD
H. Drexel Dobson
General Surgery, Colon & Rectal Surgery
Julie Bell, MD
Radiation Oncology and Diagnostic Imaging
Freda Nime, MD
Oncology, Internal Medicine
Sumant Pandya, MD