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Oncology

Oncology refers to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Oncology treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation, medication or surgery. Oncologists can specialize in one of three fields of oncology: medical, radiation or surgery.

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Cancer treatment center in Richmond, Virginia

From cancer surgery to support groups, we're here to help.

The impact of a cancer diagnosis cannot be understated, and at Henrico Doctors' Hospital, improving your wellness following diagnosis is our priority. Through treatment and recovery, our cancer doctors are here to craft the best possible plan for your needs.

Have cancer questions?

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

Types of cancer we treat

Our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists has decades of experience screening, diagnosing and treating a diverse range of cancers, including:

  • Blood cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Gynecologic cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Metastatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Sarcomas
  • Skin cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Urologic cancer

Cancer treatment services we provide

We offer the oncology services you need at our cancer center in Richmond. From diagnostic testing through treatments and support groups, we are here for you.

Comprehensive cancer services

We provide access to a host of services designed to aid in every step of your treatment and recovery. From clinical trials, nutritional support and counsel with social workers and chaplains to coordinated combination therapies with our radiation oncology and infusion teams, we always have your best interests in mind. Our care also extends to metastatic cancer, providing the medical, social and psychological support you need. No matter the type of cancer, we are here for you.

Blood cancer care

Blood cancers affect the blood, bone marrow and lymphatic systems. They typically occur when bone marrow stem cells overproduce abnormal blood cells, preventing your blood from fighting infections and excessive bleeding. Many blood cancers have no symptoms, or have symptoms that are easily confused with other conditions, so it is important to trust yourself and stay on top of regular medical visits. Common blood cancers include:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

We offer several treatment options for blood cancer, such as chemotherapy, infusion therapy, radiation therapy and stem cell transplantation, as well as nutritional counseling and psychosocial oncology and distress assessments.

Brain cancer care

Brain cancer affects your nervous system and occurs when abnormal cells grow in the brain, such as tumors. However, unlike other forms of cancer, there are not many preventive screening options, only unexpected symptoms that lead you to a doctor. Warning signs to look out for include:

  • Blurred, double or loss of vision
  • Diminished balance
  • Increased fatigue and/or sleepiness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Uncommon headaches

Treatments for brain cancers and tumors are varied, and they include chemotherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery, stereotactic targeted radiation therapy and traditional surgery.

Breast cancer care

Breast cancer screening is one of the most proactive steps a woman can take in the early detection of breast cancer, and it's a primary women’s care service. Our breast cancer program has been accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, as well as the American College of Radiology. We offer a complete spectrum of women's imaging services, including:

  • 3D digital mammography
  • Breast biopsy
  • Breast density assessment
  • Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Breast ultrasound

We are also home to a high-risk breast clinic that gives women who have an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer access to supplemental screenings to help detect cancer in its earliest stages. If you need supplemental screenings, we offer abbreviated breast magnetic resonance imaging (ABMRI), contrast mammograms (CEM) and whole breast ultrasounds.

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer care

GI cancers affect the digestive system, which digests food and eliminates waste from your body. Through various screenings, including imaging, endoscopy and colonoscopy, a gastroenterologist can help diagnose your case and ensure prompt, effective care. Types of GI cancers we typically treat include:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Neuroendocrine cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Your type of treatment will depend on the characteristics of the cancer, evidence-based guidelines, your age, your general health and your particular diagnosis. Once those factors are properly taken into account, we can determine your course of treatment, whether that be chemotherapy, oral medication, radiation therapy or traditional surgery.

Gynecologic cancer care

Gynecologic cancers are exclusive to women and begin in the reproductive organs, developing in various locations within the pelvis. We aim to work with you to begin treatment as soon as possible, giving you access to genetic assessments, advanced clinical trials and nurse navigator care to restore your quality of life. Types of gynecologic cancers we treat include:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine cancer

Gynecologic cancer care is housed in Virginia Gynecologic Oncology at Henrico Doctors' Hospital, where we offer the latest tools and techniques for testing and treatment, including minimally invasive robotic surgery. We also house an on-campus American Cancer Society Resource Center where you can take the time you need to research your disease and treatment plan among our trusted written and digital materials. Our team will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you get the care and attention you need and deserve.

Lung cancer care

One of the most common cancers in both men and women, lung cancer most often affects those who have a history of smoking. Since early diagnosis is so critical, our program features a navigational bronch/lung nodule clinic, with specialists committed to your case from the beginning, providing the best possible path for diagnosis, treatment and management. Utilizing leading edge technology and techniques for both new and recurring chest wall, esophageal, lung, mediastinal and pleural tumors, lung cancer treatments we offer include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Minimally invasive robotic surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Thoracotomy
  • Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS)

We have been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology, and are also proud to be a part of the Virginia Institute of Robotic Surgery, allowing our surgeons to provide you with effective treatment that decreases recovery time, pain, scarring and hospital stays.

Prostate cancer care

A cancer that only affects men, prostate cancer occurs when cancer cells form in your prostate, the walnut-shaped gland that facilitates sperm transport, as well as fluids that provide nourishment. We have been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Prostate Surgery, so you can know that your care is in the best possible hands. When it comes to treatment, our goal is to use the least invasive and most advanced options to ensure that you can get on the proper road to recovery. Treatment plans can include both surgical and nonsurgical options, including injections for when cancer is resistant to traditional treatment and has spread to the bones. Treatments we offer include:

  • Infusion therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery, including prostatectomy and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

Skin cancer care

Skin cancer encompasses an irregular growth of skin cells, typically brought on by excess sun exposure. From basal cell carcinomas to squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas, our skin cancer specialists are prepared to treat whatever case you may have. Limiting your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation will decrease your chances of developing skin cancer, as will regular check-ups with a dermatologist. Skin cancer services we offer include:

  • Annual skin cancer screening event in partnership with local skin cancer experts
  • Genetic counseling and testing for skin cancer
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery options

For further, more serious treatment, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are effective available options. Additionally, depending on the stage and severity of your condition, we may offer in-office freezing or cryotherapy.

Thyroid cancer care

The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of the neck and is part of the endocrine system. When the thyroid becomes affected with cancer, it may not always cause any symptoms, though can eventually lead to pain and swelling in our neck. While some cases of thyroid cancer can be very severe, most cases are treatable. Unfortunately, it is not immediately clear what causes thyroid cancer, but we are prepared to treat its various forms, including:

  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer
  • Follicular thyroid cancer
  • Medullary thyroid cancer
  • Papillary thyroid cancer

Our thyroid treatment program features advanced treatments, including minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery.

Urologic cancer care

Urologic cancer can affect both men and women and may include cancers of the kidneys, bladder, prostate and testicles. Unlike some other forms of cancer, urologic cancers are fairly common. Depending on which form of cancer you have, symptoms may vary, though some common symptoms to watch out for include blood in the urine, painful urination, enlarged testicular veins and lumps, pain or swelling in the back or side. Our urologic cancer services include diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer, including complex renal surgeries such as solitary and bilateral surgery. Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive techniques, including minimally invasive transurethral resection of the bladder (TURB) surgery.

Risk factors vary on the type of condition, but some include:

  • Being over the age of 40
  • Exposure to asbestos or chemicals related to the creation of dyes, leathers or rubber.
  • High cholesterol
  • History of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Obesity

Genetic testing

Due to genetic changes that increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, you may develop a genetic predisposition to cancer. These genetic changes can be passed on from generation to generation.

The specialists at the Cancer Genetics Clinic at the Sarah Cannon Institute here at the hospital can educate and counsel you about your individual risk for certain cancers based on your family cancer history. Identifying the causes of certain hereditary cancers and genetic disorders helps doctors find ways to manage your cancer risk and treat hereditary cancer syndromes.

If you meet specific criteria for testing, our DNA testing specialists will collect a sample of your blood or saliva and send it to a special genetic laboratory for testing. Following testing or counseling, the clinic will develop a plan to help reduce your cancer risk and begin or continue screenings for early detection.

An appointment at the Cancer Genetics Clinic requires a physician referral. Once your physician refers you to us, we will call you to schedule an appointment.

Specialized cancer support services

Fighting cancer is best accomplished with the help and support of family, friends and compassionate professionals. Our cancer care specialists provide support services so you can walk your cancer journey with confidence. We offer the following support groups and programs to provide an extra layer of care for you during your time of need.

Advanced breast cancer support group

This support group is open to any woman living with advanced breast cancer. Meetings are the first Thursday of each month at 4:00pm at the hospital.

For more information about this support group, please contact us by email or call (804) 287-4362.

Breast pre-surgical education class

The breast pre-surgical education class is offered to any woman preparing for surgery for breast cancer. The class meets every Wednesday at 3:00pm at the hospital.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to our breast cancer nurse navigator at (804) 545-7934.

Cancer caregivers support group

The cancer caregivers support group is open to any individual who is caring for a person with cancer. Our meetings are the third Thursday of each month at 4:30pm in the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute.

For more information about this group, please contact our cancer center social worker at (804) 200-7033.

Greater Richmond Multiple Myeloma Support Group

The Greater Richmond Multiple Myeloma Support Group meets every third Monday of each month (except July and August) at 7:00pm in the Forest Conference Room. This support group is sponsored by the International Myeloma Foundation.

For more information, call (804) 206-0909.

Gynecologic cancer support group

The gynecologic cancer support group is open to any woman affected by gynecologic cancer. The group meets the second Monday of each month from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at the hospital. Most months, speakers present new information as decided by the needs and wants of the group. Registration for this support group is not required.

For more information, please contact our cancer center social worker by email, or by calling (804) 200-7033.

Look Good Feel Better

In conjunction with the American Cancer Society, we offer the Look Good Feel Better program, which is geared towards women receiving cancer treatment. This group meets six times a year, every other month, and is a two-hour workshop beginning on the third Monday in February. Sessions take place at 1:00pm in the cancer center specialty clinic office, suite 320.

For more information about this program, call (800) 395-5665.

Lung cancer support group

Our lung cancer support group is designed for men and women with lung cancer. The group meets the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00pm in the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute.

Lymphedema support group

We offer a lymphedema support group at our sister facility, Retreat Doctors' Hospital. This group is designed for patients who are experiencing lymphedema, and is facilitated by experienced lymphedema specialists. Sessions are in the first floor boardroom at the hospital.

For more information, call (804) 254-5586.

Smoking cessation program

For smokers, the best way to prevent lung cancer is to stop smoking. We recognize that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to quitting smoking, but when you are ready to ask for help, we are here for you.

We offer a smoking cessation program that can help you stop smoking in as little as seven weeks. Up to 60 percent of participants report being smoke-free by the end of the program when used in combination with smoking cessation medications.

For more information about our smoking cessation program, call (840) 422-2273.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (804) 591-4152.

Oncology nurse navigation

Oncology nurse navigators specialize in cancer care. Our nurse navigators are part of your multidisciplinary team, serving as advocates and educators for you, from diagnosis through survivorship.

The bridge between you and your care

Nurse navigators are here to coordinate your care and address any barriers you may face throughout your cancer journey. Everyone needs an advocate, and our nurse navigators act as such for you, ensuring that your treatment plan is as personalized as possible and that you have as much information about your case as you need. We have several nurse navigators in our oncology program, including nurses for breast, gastrointestinal, gynecologic and lung cancers, as well as a survivorship nurse navigator.

Our nurse navigators help to:

  • Connect you to resources available throughout your cancer journey
  • Educate you on your diagnosis, treatment plans, medications and clinical trial availability
  • Host multidisciplinary cancer conferences to ensure you receive a personalized treatment plan
  • Improve communication between you and your healthcare team

Assess your cancer risk factors

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Your colorectal cancer risk factors
When diagnosed early, colorectal cancer is highly preventable and highly treatable. Use our online tool to find out your risk and what you can do about it.
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At risk for lung cancer?
If you're unsure, let us help you understand whether you have any potential risk factors for developing lung cancer with our free assessment tool.
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Worried about prostate cancer?
Let us help. Our assessment will enable you to understand whether you need to be talking to your doctor about prostate cancer and screenings.

Oncology at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

Laurie Cuttino, MD

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