Thompson Cancer Survival Center at Methodist offers a high level of cancer care, including state-of-the-art treatments and wellness services designed to care for the whole patient.
People diagnosed with cancer typically enter treatment through physician referral to an appropriate specialist on our staff. For many patients, treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In addition, the Comprehensive Chest Clinic of East Tennessee and the Oak Ridge Breast Center help certain cancer patients with the diagnosis and referral process.
Radiation is a vital part of the comprehensive cancer treatment program. At Thompson, patients have access to some of the latest advances in treatment, including Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy. The department also offers basic radiation services, which include linear accelerators to direct x-rays and electron beams into cancerous cells and a state-of-the-art multi-leaf collimator. This 120-leaf collimator targets cancer with incredible precision, delivering a high dose of radiation to the tumor with minimum damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Thompson at Methodist now offers Cone Beam technology, which is an enhancement to its existing linear accelerator used to deliver radiation. This addition allows for more targeted radiation treatments. Used with any type of cancer, Cone Beam CT is more accurate, it reduces side effects to other parts of the body, and it allows for a safer, larger delivery of radiation. This will enable the center to offer patients a better chance at not just surviving cancer, but thriving after radiation treatment.
Prostate Seed Implants
Thompson at Methodist was also one of the first facilities in central East Tennessee to offer brachytherapy for prostate cancer. Men with early stage, small prostate cancers are the best candidates for this hospital-based procedure, in which Palladium is used as a radiation source. Brachytherapy for prostate cancer offers patients a number of benefits: Success rates of more than 80 percent over a period of years; precise delivery of radiation to the cancer; patients can resume their normal activities soon after treatment; side effects are generally mild and disappear within a few weeks.
Multidisciplinary Comprehensive Clinics
The Comprehensive Chest Clinic and The Comprehensive Breast Clinic provide Thompson at Methodist with a coordinated, expedited process to confirm each patient's diagnosis and agree upon the treatment plan within a week of the original referral, so treatment can begin without delay.
The staff at Thompson Cancer Survival Center at Methodist strives to make your treatment experience as comfortable and as convenient as possible. From the soothing murals commissioned by a former patient’s family, to the myriad of support services, the facility offers you a wealth of information to help you through your cancer treatment.
Cancer Resource Center
The Cancer Resource Center is located on the 2nd Level of Thompson at Methodist and provides essential services and support to patients dealing with all forms of cancer. The center is a partnership between Thompson at Methodist and the American Cancer Society and provides the latest in updated medical information. Here, cancer patients, survivors and caregivers find guidance to navigate through their cancer journey. The Wellness Community meets at the Cancer Resource Center and offers a cancer support group on the first Tuesday of each month; a wig bank provides patients with free wigs and personalized fittings, while a specialized boutique includes certified fitters for breast prosthesis. The center is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is closed from noon to 1 p.m.
Palliative Care Consultation Service
The Palliative Care Consultation Service is available to inpatients and the families of inpatients who are experiencing the symptoms and burdens of chronic, progressive illness. The service brings together a multidisciplinary health care team which includes a physician, nurses, a social worker, chaplain, pharmacist and dietitian. This core team helps patients and their families achieve the best possible quality of life by providing aggressive pain and symptom management and emotional, social and spiritual support.
Managing Radiation-Induced Lymphedema
Radiation therapy patients may develop lymphedema. Methodist Therapy has physical therapists specially trained in lymphedema management. This consists of four components: massage to facilitate draining the lymph nodes, skin care, exercise and compression. Manual lymph drainage promotes the flow of lymph fluid toward healthy lymph vessels and nodes. Skin care is very important to prevent cracks or cuts which can lead to infection and further swelling. Exercise helps in moving lymph fluid out of the swollen limb, while compression of swollen limbs is achieved with multi-layer compression bandages. With proper care and treatment, the area affected by lymphedema can usually be returned to a manageable size and shape.
Nutrition is always a concern for cancer patients. Many find that they cannot eat certain foods, or cannot consume an appropriate level of calories. That’s why Thompson at Methodist offers weekly nutritional counseling sessions for patients.
The Hospitality Houses- Manly House and CALM House
Two Hospitality Houses are available to patients who travel a great distance to receive treatment at Thompson at Methodist. These houses, made available through the generous support of the Methodist Medical Center Foundation through individuals and businesses in our region, provide temporary lodging for patients when they need a homelike setting the most. The hospitality houses aim to relieve patients of the financial burden associated with conventional temporary housing, thereby enabling them to focus on physical and emotional healing.
The Cancer Support Community
Thompson Cancer Survival Center at Methodist works closely with the Cancer Support Community to provide psychological, educational and social support services to cancer patients, their families and their friends.
Support groups, programs provided by licensed psychotherapists, stress management sessions, educational workshops and social events are just a few of the services offered by the Cancer Support Community. These services help patients focus on improving their quality of life while undergoing cancer treatment.
In addition to the Wellness Community of East Tennessee, Thompson at Methodist also works closely with the American Cancer Society to bring support services to patients. Look Good . . . Feel Better, a program to help women enhance their appearance during treatment, is held the first Tuesday of each month from 10:30 a.m. - noon at the cancer center, located at 102 Vermont Ave., Oak Ridge. For more information please call 865-584-1669 or 1-800-ACS-2345.