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Accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as Comprehensive Community Cancer Center.  The LMHS Cancer Program received a 3-year certification with 5 commendations.

Hospital Accreditation by DNV.

Cancer Advocacy Hotline:


Email:

Cancer@LeeMemorial.org

Correspondence:
Regional Cancer Center
Lee Memorial Health System
8931 Colonial Center Drive, Suite 200
Fort Myers, FL 33905   
239-343-9500

 

Diagnosis Testing and Treatment Information
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Diagnostic Procedures
When a potential problem is identified, your physician will order a number of diagnostic tests which might include the following:   x-rays, CT scan, MRI, PET scan, Nuclear Medicine scan, bone marrow biopsy and scintigraphy.

PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography)

Positron emission tomography or PET scan is a test used to look at different parts of the body to see how they are working. PET scans can show how much blood is flowing to an area of the body and how well the tissues in that area use oxygen and food. They can also show where medicines and chemicals go inside the body. A PET scan works by giving radioactive “tracers” as a dye through an IV or as a gas. These tracers are picked up by a scanner and turned into pictures with different colors indicating varying levels of activity.

CT Scan

Computed axial tomography, also called “CT” or “CAT” scan is a painless test that takes pictures of the inside of the body. This radiographic technique produces a film that represents a detailed cross-section of tissue structure. Because CT scans take pictures of the body only a few layers at a time, they are especially good for showing bone, soft tissue and blood vessels.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI uses a strong magnetic field and a computer to take pictures of the body. MRI is especially useful in evaluating the brain, neck, spinal cord and blood vessels. However, nearly every part of the body can be evaluated by MRI. For this painless test patients must remain motionless for high-quality imaging.

Nuclear Medicine Scan
This technique uses an injected radioactive material and a scanner to determine the size, shape, location and function of various organs, structures and body parts. The procedure is painless and is used for assessing solid structures of the body.

Bone Marrow Biopsy
This procedure takes a sample of bone marrow to test for abnormalities. Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue inside some of the larger bones. Bone marrow makes most blood cells, such as red and white blood cells and platelets. The biopsy is performed by inserting a needle into the bone (usually of the hip) and removing the marrow sample during a sterile procedure. The sample is then sent to the lab for testing.

Scintigraphy
The radiographic procedure is performed to determine lymph node involvement with a primary tumor. A radiographic isotope is injected around the tumor and then imaged after it has traveled to the lymph node group that serves as its primary drainage. Demonstrating this involvement is highly important because effective treatment has been discovered for patients with metastatic lymph nodes.


Cancer Treatments
Cancer treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy or a combination of these therapies.

Radiation Therapy is often done on an outpatient basis. A precisely measured dose of radiation is directed to a tumor with minimum exposure to surrounding tissue. Current radiation therapy methods cause much less damage to healthy tissue than methods previously used. Typical side effects may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and depression.

Chemotherapy, the use of drugs or chemicals given individually or in combination, is administered in precisely measured doses to target rapidly dividing cancer cells. It is a particularly effective treatment for leukemia and many metastatic cancers and may be used in combination with other forms of treatment. Expected side effects include nausea, vomiting, weakness and diarrhea. Hair loss and decreased sex drive, usually temporarily, may also occur.

Immunotherapy or biological response modifiers may be used as an adjunct therapy. These substances, such as Interleukin-2 or Interferon, are used to stimulate the body’s own immune system to interfere with cancer cell growth, help healthy immune cells control cancer and can help repair normal cells damaged by other cancer treatment. Patients may encounter side effects during treatment including flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, muscle or joint aches), loss of appetite and fatigue.

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