At Lourdes, our focus is on providing patients with the latest advances in diagnosis and treatment. We emphasize those procedures that offer fewer side effects, faster recovery and better outcomes.
As cancer care improves, procedures for treating the disease become more targeted and less invasive. Advanced treatments include precise delivery of a combination of therapies (radiation, chemotherapy and surgery) to provide patients with the greatest opportunity for recovery. Chemotherapy protocols change constantly to incorporate newer drugs that are gentler and more effective at curing or controlling disease. High-tech diagnostic techniques also improve how early we can discover cancer. Some of the advanced diagnostic and treatments services include:
In addition to mammography, Lourdes offers Breast MRI. This tool is an excellent way to evaluate young women who have a strong family history or genetic predisposition of breast cancer. In addition, it is helpful to “ persons with an abnormal mammogram that is not clearly defined on mammography or as a follow-up for breast cancer patients after radiation. It is also useful as a check up tool for patients with a known breast cancer to make sure there is no cancer in the other breast or any part of the chest wall.
To obtain a breast MRI at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, call 609-835-3640.
Mammography with CAD-Computer-Assisted Diagnostics
Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County offers mammography services, included expanded hours services. In addition, patients are assured of results since radiologists there use the R2 Image Checker system, a computer-assisted diagnostic device that provides a “second pair of eyes” for radiologists.
To call for a mammography appointment, call 609-835-3191.
Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
An alternative to surgery, this procedure uses mammography-guided technology to pinpoint a breast lump and take a needle biopsy. This spares most women the discomfort and scarring associated with surgical biopsy.
Tiny canisters of radioactive materials called “seeds” can be implanted in the body to deliver carefully localized radiation treatment. This treatment is particularly effective for prostate cancer.
External Beam Radiation
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. External beam radiation therapy focuses energy on the tumor from a source outside your body. It is much like getting an X-ray but for a longer period of time. Before you start treatments, you must first have a series of imaging studies such as MRIs, CT scans, or plain x-rays so that doctors know exactly where your tumor is located within the body. Technicians will probably mark your body with ink that will help to guide your treatments. External beam radiation lasts only a few minutes and is painless.
Lourdes radiation oncologists offer a variety of the latest forms radiation therapy, including brachytherapy for prostate cancer, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT).
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) utilizes computer-controlled X-ray accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor. The IMRT technology is so advanced that the accelerator can be programmed to actually wrap and angle beams of radiation around normal tissue and organs, protecting “good cells” as they destroy the tumor.
IMRT focuses concentrated radiation on the affected site, to get higher radiation doses to the tumor and spare the normal tissue, even in cases where the normal tissue is side-by-side with the tumor. In other words, this procedure allows pinpoint accuracy to control tumors. It results in more radiation to the tumor and less to surrounding healthy tissue.
IMRT can be used effectively to treat a number of different cancers. They include cancers of the prostate, head and neck, breast, lung, pancreas and gastrointestinal system.
IMRT also can be used for the treatment of gynecological, liver and brain tumors, lymphomas, sarcomas and pediatric malignancies.
In order to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor, doctors use several types of scanning procedures, including computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Each IMRT treatment session lasts 15 to 20 minutes, and may occur over several weeks on an outpatient basis. Like conventional beam radiation, IMRT is painless. However, because IMRT can direct a higher dose of radiation to cancer cells and spare surrounding healthy cells from unnecessary exposure, tumor control is much better and patients experience fewer side effects. As a result, patients remain stronger and lead more normal lives during treatment.
- Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
- Laparoscopic Surgery
- Lymphodema Management
- Medical Oncology
- Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
At Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, radiation oncologists also perform Image-Guided Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IGRT), an ultrasound-based technology that provides unparalleled tumor targeting and control.
Currently, the treatment is being used for prostate tumors and allows doctors to pinpoint the tumor with laser accuracy. The data is fed into a computer that controls a linear accelerator. Lead “leaves” shape the beam, which can be pointed at the patient from different directions.
Drug protocols and new chemotherapeutic agents become available literally every day. That is why it is important to have physicians who are up to date with the latest advances for cancer treatment. There are now treatments for some cancers where few were available before, offering greater hope, fewer risks, and better outcomes.
In the past, doctors treated all cancers the same. Now they know that cancers behave differently and it is best to define the specific type of cancer and develop and individualized treatment plan. In addition, doctors are combining drugs with other therapies, or staging treatments in particular ways in order to obtain the best result.
Sentinel Lymph Node Mapping
Sentinel node mapping is a new state-of-the-art imaging technology at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County.
This new technology limits the amount of surgery required to determine the extent of the disease and promotes a faster recovery. National studies indicate that in the future, this procedure may virtually eliminate the need to perform extensive surgeries for many patients.
In the sentinel node mapping procedure, a radioactive tracer material is injected into the tissue surrounding skin of a lesion. By tracking this material through the lymph nodes, nuclear medicine technologists can follow the pathway from the diseased area to the sentinel, or early draining lymph node.
Another benefit of the procedure is reduced swelling compared to that which patients sometimes experience with standard types of lymphatic surgery.
For more information, call the Lourdes Cancer Center at 609-835-5432.