The AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute is a 39,600-square-foot facility in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. It offers the most advanced diagnostic and treatment technology, including technology new to the southeastern New Jersey region.
AtlantiCare made the choice to establish a healthy building and a healing environment through the integration of sustainable design and construction practices at the Cancer Care Institute, as well as the integration of beautiful artwork throughout the building.
All our treatment and patient care areas are designed with “green” building technologies and thoughtful amenities that promote a healing environment.
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded the AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute Gold Certification for meeting its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
We have incorporated the healing arts throughout the Institute’s nature-inspired décor, which features sculptures, paintings and other works of art that create a sense of tranquility and peacefulness for patients, visitors and staff. Our Healing Arts program recognizes the role of the arts in the creation of beauty and serenity within a health care setting. Numerous studies show that clinical outcomes can be enhanced by incorporating the healing arts in the clinical environment.
Private examination rooms provide a quiet place for consultations with your doctors and nurses. Our main chemotherapy area is an open space with large windows that provide expansive views of daylight and nature. Patients receiving treatment have a choice of eight private infusion bays for chemotherapy or the open “buddy bay,” which allows you to enjoy the company of other patients. Our staff provides a high level of personal attention to every patient, explaining what to expect during treatment, answering questions and providing encouraging support.
The private infusion bays and buddy bay are furnished with large, comfortable recliners for patients and flat-screen televisions. Each area also includes extra seating for family members to relax by their loved ones side during treatment.
The AtlantiCare Cancer Care Institute has teamed up with Gilda's Club South Jersey to bring the essential components of the Gilda’s Club program closer to the point of treatment – convenient for you and your family.
The Living Room is a satellite of Gilda’s Club South Jersey, offering comprehensive support activities free of charge.
Learn how to become a proactive patient. Understand your treatment choices. Get the latest news on advances in cancer. If you or a loved one is facing cancer, you’ll want to explore the Cancer Knowledgebase, with separate sections on more than 60 types of the disease.
Visit our Cancer Knowledgebase or click on a link below for more information.
Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. Cancer cells are often shaped differently from healthy cells, and they reproduce rapidly, forming tumors, despite signals sent from the body to stop.
Cancer Tests and Procedures
Doctors use tests like mammography, MRI, and CT scans to help them screen for, diagnose, and treat cancer. If you have cancer, you may have had one or more of these tests.
Cancer and Nutrition
Making careful food choices will help support your immune system’s fight against cancer. The foods you choose to eat during treatment will vary according to any side effects you may have.
Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Cancer treatment can cause a number of side effects. Learn how to cope with fatigue, loss of appetite, skin problems, and more.
Look here for information on specific types of cancer, from adrenal cancer to thyroid cancer and beyond.
Cancer and Genetics
The human genome contains many types of genes that control cell growth. When these genes have an error in their DNA, they may not work properly. Cancer can develop if many gene errors occur.
After your cancer diagnosis, everything in life may suddenly feel out of control. Your initial thoughts may be "How could this have happened to me?" and "How will I get through this?"
The goals of cancer treatment are to get rid of the cancer; prevent it from recurring; prolong life, and, if necessary, provide palliation, or easing of symptoms to improve quality of life.
Living with Cancer
Newer tests and cancer treatments have added many months and years to people's lives. As a result, cancer is increasingly viewed as a long-term chronic illness.
Children and Cancer
Cancer is a disease that strikes not only adults, but also children. Find out how childhood cancer, diagnosis, and treatment differ from adult cancers.
The total dose of radiation and the number of treatments you need will depend on a set of highly individual factors. Such considerations include the type, size and location of your cancer, your general health, and any other treatments you may be receiving, or have received.
Your individualized course of radiation treatments will be evaluated, planned, and implemented in phases. These phases include consultation, simulation and daily treatments.
We encourage you to attend our "Preparing for Radiation Therapy" program, a one hour, free education session designed to educate our patients and their caregivers about their radiation therapy experience. Our program is facilitated by members of our radiation therapy team.
Most often your first visit to the radiation therapy department will not involve any treatments. This appointment allows the radiation oncologist, the physician who specializes in radiation treatments, the opportunity to review your imaging studies and records, evaluate your general condition and discuss with you the details of radiation treatments. The radiation oncologist may also call upon your referring physician and other cancer specialists to help determine the best method of treatment for you. This is also a chance for you to ask any unanswered questions. We recommend you bring a family member or close friend along for this visit.
This phase is very technical and usually involves a team effort made up of the radiation oncologist, physicist, and radiation therapist. AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's (ARMC) Radiation Oncology program utilizes a CT scanner that contains software that will precisely localize the area the physician wishes to treat with radiation. This software allows physicians to "fuse" previous imaging, studies such as MRIs and PET scans, to the simulation CT scan, this method is used when relevant scans are available. The radiation team uses the data gained from this scan to mark the area of treatment. This process usually involves taking several CT images.
Once the area to be treated is localized by the team, you will be given small, but permanent tattoos. These tattoos are not very noticeable and allow you to maintain proper daily hygiene during your course of treatment. The tattoos are absolutely necessary for the accuracy of the treatment. Photographs of the treatment area will also be taken at this time and possibly again just prior to your first treatment.
Once the treatment area is defined, the physician, physicist and dosimetrists will review all of the information gained from and the scans themselves and formulate a tailored individualized treatment plan. The team will enter technical data into a treatment-planning computer to develop an approach to deliver radiation from possibly several different directions and establishing the length of time for each treatment segment. This plan is reviewed and approved by the radiation oncologist prior to implementation.
For your daily radiation treatments you will lie on a table in the same position you were in for the simulation procedure. The treatment unit (Linear Accelerator) will be directed according to the computerized treatment plan and the marks on your skin. ARMC also utilizes IGRT (Image Guided Radiation Therapy) to ensure the accuracy of daily treatments. IGRT allows the radiation therapists and physicians to administer ultra-precise doses of radiation to previously unreachable tumors.
Tumors are not stationary, unchanging targets; they move between and during treatments. IGRT uses daily CT scanning to create three dimensional images that pinpoint the exact size, location and coordinates of the tumor. In the past, radiation oncologists have had to compensate for tumor movements by making the radiation beam larger, exposing a significant volume of healthy tissue to radiation. With IGRT, two robotically controlled "arms" capture CT, fluoroscopic and x-ray images on a daily basis, pinpointing the position of the cancer just prior to treatment. This increased precision allows for higher doses of radiation - ultimately leading to higher cure rates.
After the therapists have prepared you to receive your treatment, he or she will leave the treatment room. It is important that you remain still and breathe normally during this time. You will be monitored by closed-circuit TV and intercom for the entirety of your treatment. The treatment times can vary greatly depending on your treatment plan, generally though ranging from 5 to 15 minutes. Every effort will be made to schedule your daily treatment at a time that is convenient for you.
While under treatment, you will have a weekly scheduled visit with the physician and nurse to discuss your progress, concerns, and possible side effects. However, should any problems arise before your weekly visit, please inform any staff member that you wish to speak with the physician and/or nurse before your treatment.
During your course of radiation therapy, the radiation oncologist will communicate with the physics staff, therapists, and nurses to continually assess your progress.
AtlantiCare's Cancer Care Institute offers the following free monthly support groups to cancer patients, their families and caregivers.
The Breast Health Program at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC), which is part of AtlantiCare Women's Health & Wellness, hosts a monthly cancer survivor support group meeting at the Cancer Care Institute. The meetings are the second Thursday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Registration is required.
The Breast Health Program at ARMC hosts "Look Good...Feel Better®" the first Tuesday of every month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Cancer Care Institute. "Look Good...Feel Better®" is a national public service program to help women undergoing cancer treatment
learn to cope with the appearance related side effects of treatment and regain a sense of self-confidence and control over their lives. The program is founded by The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), a charitable organization supported by the cosmetic industry's trade association, in partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Cosmetology Association (NCA). Attendance is free. Registration is required.
AtlantiCare invites members of the community to join its Cancer Care Community Advisory Group. This group includes those who have been touched by cancer and those interested in making a difference in the lives of those with cancer. The group provides input about AtlantiCare programs and services for those facing cancer.
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy or RT) uses high energy radiation from x-rays and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external radiation therapy) or from materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) that are placed inside the body in the area where the cancer cells are found (brachytherapy).
Radiation is effective in the treatment of cancer because it destroys the reproductive ability of all cells within its path. Both normal and cancer cells are affected; however, most normal cells are able to recover quickly. Radiation therapy is usually given 5 days a week for several weeks. This schedule helps protect healthy body tissues by spreading out the total dose of radiation and giving weekend rests to allow normal cells to rebuild.
Radiation can be used to treat cancer in almost every part of the body, either alone, or in combination with other treatment modalities.
Sometimes, RT is used before surgery to shrink a cancerous tumor. After surgery, it may be used to stop the growth of any cancer cells that may remain. In many cases, radiation is combined with chemotherapy to destroy a cancerous growth and prevent spreading.
Radiation is also used to reduce pressure, bleeding, pain or other symptoms which can be caused by cancer. You will feel no pain or other sensation from the treatment. Neither healthy nor cancerous tissues become radioactive during treatments. You cannot contaminate others.
Unlike chemotherapy which travels through your entire body, radiation treatments are very precise and localized. Therefore, side effects from radiation therapy are limited to the area of treatment. Your radiation oncologist will discuss with you any side effects that may occur.
A multidisciplinary team provides patient care which includes radiation oncologists, registered nurses, radiation therapists, a social worker, and dietitian. Support personnel include medical physicists, secretaries, a medical transcription professional and administrative director.
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