texas oncology more breakthroughs. more victories



Revolutionizing The Patient Experience Through Next-Generation Cancer Care

Publication: The Jewish Outlook 

Technology alone won’t remedy cancer, but new innovations and approaches are helping patients win the fight. Advancements like robotic surgery and innovative treatments like immunotherapy are among the many approaches improving quality of life during and after cancer treatment. This leap to next-generation cancer care has the ability to greatly improve outcomes and the overall patient experience. Let’s take a look at some of the leading-edge treatments and approaches to care that are revolutionizing cancer today.

As technology advances, the way patients receive cancer care is changing. It’s no longer only chemotherapy infusions and radiation treatment. Even those treatments are advancing, with some chemotherapy given as an oral pill, and proton therapy offering an advanced form of radiation treatment. 

New Treatment
Immunotherapy is another innovative treatment type. Our immune systems help us fight infection and disease. Cancer care directly impacts and generally weakens our immune systems. Immunotherapy uses the body’s own defense mechanisms, including the immune system, to fight cancer at the cellular level. This advanced treatment is used for many types of cancer. 

Combination therapies—the use of more than one therapy option to, for example, combat drug resistance and increase the benefits to the patient—is also on the rise. Thanks to advances in research and clinical trials, we are learning more about new combination drug therapies and how they can positively impact patients undergoing cancer treatment. Moreover, a patient may be presented with an opportunity to use multiple treatment options together as opposed to relying solely on only one treatment option. An example of this is a breakthrough drug that may be best combined with a more traditional chemotherapy treatment option.

New Technologies
Equally as promising as leading-edge innovations in cancer treatment are technologies that improve the patient experience. Cancer treatment can have numerous side effects on a patient, both physical and emotional. One new therapy to help mitigate the side effect of hair loss is called a cooling system, or a “cooling cap.” This technology was created to cool the scalp during chemotherapy treatment. As the cap cools the scalp, it tightens blood vessels and reduces the amount of chemo that impacts the hair follicles. In turn, patients are able to reduce hair loss that occurs as a result of chemotherapy.

Innovative technologies and treatment options will propel us into the next generation of cancer care. At Texas Oncology, we take a holistic approach to care that marries leading-edge technology and treatment with our adoption of a team-based approach to care. Patients are guided by our experts from the earliest days of their cancer journey. Whether it’s after-hours care coordination, patient navigation, emotional support or treatment planning, our oncology care team plays an important role in surrounding our patients with the support they need. These trusted members of the care team guide patients through every aspect of their treatment. 

In an ideal world, location would not be an obstacle to accessing leading-edge cancer care, the reality is that in states as vast as Texas, patients often travel long distances for specialized consultations and treatments. Traveling for care can be exhausting, costly, and untimely for patients and their caregivers. Therefore, due to technological advancements, telemedicine has become more common in cancer care in recent years.

Telemedicine enables physicians to connect directly with patients who need highly specialized care, even if they live hundreds of miles away from the physicians’ offices. This is accomplished through a range of technologies, including video conferencing. Video conferencing makes it possible for patients to see and speak directly with a physician. Additionally, it allows for medical records to be shared, including imaging studies. Physicians within a healthcare network can access patient records and share files through encrypted, HIPPA-compliant technology. With telemedicine, patients have access to extensive and diverse expertise with more treatment options, while saving time and expense. Specialties available also include blood and marrow transplant, CAR-T therapy, pediatric hematology, neuro-oncology, and advance care planning.

Telemedicine is making it possible to reach more patients, and deliver care more efficiently and conveniently without compromising quality, regardless of patient location. The future of cancer care is here, and telemedicine is just one example of will be effective for patients. Together all of the innovative advances driving the leap forward in care provide access to an array of patient-focused services that improve outcomes and the patient experience. These leading principles culminate in a patient-first, compassionate model of care at the heart of Texas communities.

We take this approach to cancer care at every one of our clinic locations, whether you are in Houston, Dallas, Amarillo, or somewhere in between. I’m excited about the future of cancer care and proud to be a part of the revolutionary approaches we are embracing at Texas Oncology.

Krishna Patel, M.D., is a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–Round Rock North, 301 Seton Parkway, Suite 104 in Round Rock, Texas.

Read the full story at The Jewish Outlook

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