CDC guidance now recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised patients receive an additional (third) dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). If you have undergone anti-cancer therapy in the past year, you are within 1 year of stem cell transplantation or are receiving medications that suppress your immune system, you are encouraged to obtain a third COVID-19 vaccination shot. If you received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccination, please consult your doctor regarding next steps. Find vaccination locations here.
If you are within 100 days of a stem cell transplantation, we do not recommend that you receive a COVID-19 vaccination until you are cleared by your care team to do so. If you are currently on a clinical research trial, please contact your clinical research team for more guidance. Please contact your care coordinator if you have additional questions about receiving an additional COVID-19 vaccine shot.
About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute
As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to leading-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.
Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (972) 202-8877 or chat online at askSARAH.
Cancer care in North Texas
Medical City Healthcare is the destination of choice for cancer care in North Texas. We offer integrated oncology services with convenient access to leading-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our community.
For more information about our oncology services, call askSARAH at (972) 202-8877.
Together with Sarah Cannon, Medical City Healthcare hospitals provide:
- Greater access to leading-edge therapies for patients
- Physician-led and patient-centered cancer treatment programs
- Nurse navigation programs to help you through every step of the cancer treatment process
- Oncology centers of excellence designed with input from oncologists and cancer care staff
Multidisciplinary oncology teams
With multidisciplinary teams of cancer doctors and specialists working together, including dietitians, pediatric doctors, social workers, pastors and psycho-social therapists, our cancer treatment centers are equipped to treat patients with a wide variety of cancers. We offer advanced treatment options and modern facilities, allowing us to provide high-quality cancer care across North Texas.
Cancers we offer treatment for
Many cancers exist, and they can develop in different areas of the body. Tumors are classified as either benign, meaning they don't invade surrounding tissues or travel (metastasize) to other parts of the body, or malignant, meaning they exhibit aggressive growth and invasiveness and can be life-threatening.
Cancers are further classified by the type of cell that resembles the tumor and, therefore, the tissue presumed to be the origin of the tumor.
We offer treatment for a variety of cancers and noncancerous tumors, including:
- Blood cancer
- Bone cancer
- Brain cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Gastrointestinal cancer
- Gynecologic cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Pediatric cancer
- Prostate cancer
Diagnosing cancer usually requires a pathologist, although indications of cancer can be revealed through regular screenings or symptoms. Three main groups of symptoms are recognized:
- Local symptoms, which can include unusual lumps, swelling, pain or hemorrhage
- Metastasis symptoms, which can include enlarged lymph nodes, bone pain or coughing
- Systemic symptoms, which can include poor appetite, weight loss, excessive sweating, anemia or excessive fatigue
This is an incomplete list, and a variety of conditions not related to cancer may cause the above symptoms.
When cancer is suspected, your doctor will typically recommend a biopsy. A biopsy is a sampling of tissue delivered to a lab for examination. Some biopsies can be performed in a doctor's office, while others require anesthesia and an operating room.
The biopsy diagnosis will determine the type of multiplying cell and help your doctor recommend the best course of treatment. Your physician will also identify the grade of cancer, which is determined by how closely the cancer cells resemble normal cells and how fast the cells are growing.
Cancer treatment options
Oncologists in our network can treat cancer using surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and other methods. The most effective type of treatment depends on the location and grade of the tumor, the stage of the disease and your general condition.
The goal of cancer treatment is to remove the cancerous cells without affecting the rest of the body. However, each of the main methods of treatment have limitations and risks.
Surgical oncologists perform surgery to remove tumors or to partially or completely remove affected organs or tissues. Surgery may also be used for diagnostic purposes or to treat symptoms such as bowel obstruction or spinal cord compression.
Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. It hinders the division of cancer cells, which prevents them from forming new ones. Most chemotherapy regimens combine two or more drugs, known as combination chemotherapy, since many drugs perform better together than separately.
While chemotherapy can harm healthy tissues, normal cells generally can repair themselves after chemotherapy. Chemoprotective agents help minimize the side effects of chemotherapy.
Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) is a method of delivering chemotherapy. This method targets a tumor while sparing the patient from the typical side effects of traditional chemotherapy.
TACE can be used to treat primary liver cancer or metastatic liver tumors with the goal of extending survival, relieving pain and alleviating symptoms. TACE can also be used to down-stage patients or as a bridge to transplant in patients who are candidates for liver transplantation. This therapy can be performed multiple times to achieve the desired response in the tumor.
TACE is performed by inserting a tiny catheter into an artery in the groin or arm and then positioning the catheter in the artery feeding the liver tumor. Chemotherapy drugs are delivered directly to the tumor, and the chemotherapy agent is slowly released to destroy the tumor over a period of time.
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy
The cancer specialists and surgical oncologists at Medical City Plano offer advanced treatment for primary peritoneal cancer (cancer originating in the peritoneum—a thin layer of tissue lining the abdomen) and peritoneal carcinomatosis (cancers that have spread to the peritoneum from gastrointestinal and gynecological organs located inside the peritoneal cavity).
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) is a targeted treatment administered to only the abdomen instead of throughout your entire system. This method can reduce or eliminate some of the effects of traditional IV chemotherapy. Patients diagnosed with widespread cancer of the abdomen (peritoneal carcinomatosis) may be candidates for this treatment.
The HIPEC procedure delivers high doses of chemotherapy directly to cancer cells. Heating the cancer cells allows the chemotherapy drugs to be absorbed better so they can more effectively kill the cancer cells. Treatment is performed in a single session at the same time as surgery.
Radiation therapy uses radiation to treat cancer cells. This option is compatible with all types of cancer and can be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as chemotherapy and surgery.
Selective internal radiation therapy
The goal of selective internal radiation therapy, performed on an outpatient basis, is to decrease a tumor's size and prevent growth. It's used for patients with liver cancer. If the tumor shrinks enough, patients may be reconsidered for surgery or transplantation.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that attempts to use immune mechanisms against tumors. Immunotherapy can be useful for diseases such as melanoma, kidney cancer, lymphoma and myeloma.
Hormonal suppression involves blocking certain hormones to inhibit the growth of some cancers. Estrogen and testosterone are hormones typically suppressed in this treatment. Hormone therapy is commonly used for breast and prostate cancer.
Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a minimally invasive option for patients with inoperable or difficult-to-reach tumors, including tumors located near critical structures and major blood vessels. This treatment system uses electrical currents to destroy tumors.
Potential benefits of IRE include:
- No open incisions
- Less damage to healthy tissues
- Minimal postoperative pain
- Fewer side effects
- Shorter hospital stays
- Quicker postoperative recovery
- The ability to repeat the procedure if new tumors develop
Cancer clinical trials
Clinical trials are research studies involving patients with cancer. Sarah Cannon, a global leader in cancer research, has been a clinical trials leader in the majority of approved therapies for over a decade. You can search for clinical trials online based on your cancer diagnosis, or you can contact a Sarah Cannon representative at (972) 202-8877 for more information.
There are many ways to detect cancer, including fecal occult blood testing and colonoscopy for colon cancer, Pap smears for cervical cancer and testicular self examinations for testicular cancer. We also provide screening and diagnostic services for the early detection of many types of cancer, such as breast cancer and lung cancer.
Breast cancer screening
We've partnered with Solis Mammography to provide the most accurate, comfortable and convenient breast health services available. Our diagnostic services include:
- 2D and 3D screening mammograms
- Diagnostic mammograms
- Breast ultrasounds
- Biopsy and bone density tests
Additional breast cancer screening services may be offered at our hospitals in North Texas.
Genetic and hereditary cancer testing
Our clinical cancer genetics program screens for all types of adult- and child-onset cancers and hereditary cancer syndromes. You're welcome as either a current patient of our hospital or with a referral from another facility or physician.
Genetic and hereditary testing may be recommended for:
- Individuals who meet National Comprehensive Cancer Network genetic testing guidelines/criteria
- Individuals who meet criteria for the clinical diagnosis of a well-described hereditary cancer syndrome
- Individuals with a personal/family history of early onset cancer (usually before 50 years old)
- People with a personal/family history of having multiple cancers in the same individual
- People with a strong family history of cancer (multiple family members, multiple generations, etc.)
- People with a personal/family history of rare cancers, such as male breast cancer or ovarian cancer
- Individuals of Central or Eastern European Jewish ancestry (especially people with a personal/family history of cancer)
- Individuals who are concerned about cancer risk or interested in personal cancer risk assessment
Genetic testing sessions involve roughly one hour of dedicated time tailored to the individual patient. During the session, we'll discuss your personal and family history of cancer and explain in greater detail how genetic inheritance affects cancer risk.
To help patients achieve the best physical, intellectual, social, psychological and occupational function possible given their disease and treatment, the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Medical City Healthcare offers a comprehensive physical therapy and rehabilitation program. Whether you're newly diagnosed or long past your final treatment, through these services, we can help you reach your goals and achieve optimal health.
Through our cancer rehabilitation program, we provide a multidisciplinary approach focused on increasing your physical and emotional health. We use evidence-based practices and tools, and we'll work closely with you and your caregiver to create a specific, comprehensive care plan.
Our palliative care programs provide support and resources to patients and families managing the path of a serious illness. We offer complete services to supplement your cancer care, focusing on the relief and management of:
- Physical pain
- Physical stress
- Mental stress
Nurse navigators and survivorship navigators
Oncology nurse navigators are an integral part of your multidisciplinary care team. They serve as advocates and educators, from your initial diagnosis through survivorship. The oncology nurse navigation program ensures that you always have a one-on-one connection with an oncology nurse who can help you make and keep appointments, get second opinions, find answers and resources, keep families informed and more.
After your cancer treatments are finished, the survivorship navigation program picks up where your nurse navigator left off. Having continued support and resources to help you get back into your life can make the transition easier.
We know a cancer diagnosis affects more than your physical health. That's why cancer support groups are a major part of cancer care at Medical City Healthcare. If you've just learned about a cancer diagnosis, are supporting a loved one through treatment or are transitioning into survivorship, we can connect you with a local community for ongoing care.