It’s news no one wants to hear: that you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. However, it’s an unfortunate reality for the nearly 1.7 million people who receive that news each year, according to the National Cancer Center.
If it happens to you or a loved one, you’re sure to want the best treatment available. Fortunately, EMMC Cancer Care combines expertise, groundbreaking research, the latest technology, and the right treatment from the right specialists to help fight the disease. And, they’re the only hospital in Maine, of only four nationwide, to be part of the Dana-Farber Care Collaborative. This means you will have access to ground-breaking treatments sooner, including some of the latest clinical trials.
EMMC Cancer Care combines the expertise of hematology, medical, and radiation oncology physicians along with specialized staff to deliver state of the art, high-quality and compassionate care. Cancer Care provides consultation and treatment for malignant diseases and blood disorders, all under one roof. Experts work closely together to plan the best possible care. It’s the expertise that EMMC Cancer Care delivers that could make the difference in the success of your treatment.
“Cancer care from ten or twenty years ago is a very different picture of what we offer today,” said Dr. Rodrigo Maegawa, an oncologist/hematologist in medical oncology at EMMC Cancer Care. “Outcomes are far better and people are living more productive lives with cancer through our better understanding of the most effective approaches. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed, the better outcomes patients have.”
At Eastern Maine Medical Center’s cancer treatment center, each patient receives a personalized treatment plan to ensure the best quality care. A team of specialists will find the best cancer treatment options and support resources for each patient. There is no “one size fits all” approach to cancer treatment; however, the goal is to provide as much information to patients as possible, so that they are able to explore all of their options and make informed decisions.
“Some patients may need surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation,” said Dr. Maegawa, “and others may need just one or a few of these approaches to treatment. Other patients may benefit from a clinical trial that is the perfect fit for a specific kind of cancer. Moreover all patients can benefit from early symptom management since research has shown it actually extends both the quality and length of someone’s life.
Eastern Maine Medical Center focuses on non-invasive cancer treatment techniques, such as medicine and radiation. Physicians direct all care. Medical oncologists are physicians with specialized training in the use of medicines to treat malignancies (cancer). Many of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s medical oncologists are also hematologists. They have received specialized training in the management of blood disorders. Radiation oncologists are physicians specially trained in the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer and non-malignant conditions. Eastern Maine Medical Center’s pediatric oncologists are trained in the care of newborns to young adults (up to age 25) facing malignancies or blood disorders.
Eastern Maine Medical Center’s hematologists work in conjunction with primary care providers to give consultation for people with unexpected variation in blood counts. When a blood disorder such as anemia, hemophilia, von Willebrand’s, ITP, or a myelodysplastic syndrome is detected, Eastern Maine Medical Center’s hematologists can provide ongoing care.
Eastern Maine Medical Center’s physicians are committed to offering current state-of-the-art care, and utilize national guidelines to inform their practice.
“We are now able to identify specific drivers of patients’ tumor growth and treat based on a genomic signature, which is an approach that has gained more popularity over the recent years,” said Dr. Maegawa. “Immunotherapies have become the standard approach for a few advanced cancers such as certain kinds of melanoma and lung cancer. The ability to provide the latest in cancer research is also available through clinical trials we have available in our cancer center.”
For more than 40 years, Eastern Maine Medical Center’s cancer research program has brought new and innovative cancer treatments to people in Maine. Eastern Maine Medical Center’s cancer clinical trials program currently offers more than 70 clinical trials to serve the needs of patients across a wide spectrum of ages, diseases, and stages of disease.
“We have a variety of clinical trials for many types of cancers available in our center,” said Dr. Thomas Openshaw, the medical director of oncology clinical research at EMMC Cancer Care. “Several of them are clinical trials we have in collaboration with a very special partnership with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. We have been quite successful in having our own patients getting experimental treatments under clinical trial at Cancer Care without necessity of them travelling and staying in Boston.”
Recent advances in the diagnosis of cancer and the development of new, targeted cancer treatments have greatly improved the survival and quality of life for individuals with these diseases. The world has entered “the era of precision medicine,” which uses the genetic makeup and other characteristics of cancer to choose the most effective treatment for our individual patients.
Accessing services at EMMC Cancer Care is simple. Have your physician contact Eastern Maine Medical Center at 207-973-7478. Eastern Maine Medical Center will want to know your past medical history, the reason for the referral, and what work up you’ve had done so far. You’ll need to give your physician’s office permission to share your information with us. Once Eastern Maine Medical Center has your information, they will work with your physician’s office to set up an appointment with the right provider. In turn, your physician’s office will call you with an appointment.