Comprehensive Cancer Care

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Group of surgeons operating on a patient.
Dr. Hak Lee
A technician uses an linear accelerator on a patient.

AdventHealth Gordon’s team of cancer care experts support patients when they need it most. With a multidisciplinary set of highly specialized surgical procedures and a combination of treatments, they offer patients whole-person care while giving them their best chance at a full recovery.

AdventHealth Medical Group Hematology Oncology at Calhoun and AdventHealth Infusion Center Calhoun

AdventHealth Medical Group Hematology Oncology at Calhoun and AdventHealth Infusion Center Calhoun provide cancer patients with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, iron infusions and fluid replacement treatments.

AdventHealth Medical Group Hematology Oncology at Calhoun and AdventHealth Infusion Center Calhoun will soon be relocating to a new facility at AdventHealth Gordon. This will provide maximum collaboration and coordination of care throughout a patients’ cancer care journey.

Slated to open in December 2020, the new space will feature a modern and comfortable environment, expanded number of clinic rooms and a fifty percent increase in the number of private infusion bays. There will also be an outdoor healing garden to provide patients with the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits of nature and the outdoors.

Whole-Person Care

After December 2020, all parts of AdventHealth Gordon’s entire comprehensive cancer care program will be located on the main campus. Surgical oncology and urologic oncology are in the Medical Office building that is connected to the hospital along with the future location of AdventHealth Medical Group Hematology Oncology at Calhoun and AdventHealth Infusion Center Calhoun. The Edna Owens Breast Center is located across the lobby from the Medical Office Building, and the AdventHealth Harris Radiation Therapy Center is located across the parking lot.

AdventHealth Gordon’s cancer care physicians, nurse navigators and team members work together seamlessly to coordinate treatments between all areas of the cancer care program to streamline and elevate the level of care patients receive. In addition to treatments, the cancer care program also offers nutrition counseling, emotional and mental health counseling, support groups, fitness classes and weight management programming to cancer patients.

Lanell Jacobs, director of oncology services, said cancer patients benefit greatly from a streamlined program since each person’s needs are different and most require multi-disciplinary care.

“We approach it in a very individualized fashion,” she said. “We help patients feel whole through their cancer journey.”

Craig Box, MD, surgical oncologist and medical director of the Edna Owens Breast Center, said the tumor board, which is made up of physicians from different areas of

the cancer care program, works so well together that they often anticipate each other’s recommended courses of treatment.

“One of the things that’s kept me in Calhoun is the luxury of having close-knit care, and I think patients can feel it, sense it and take great comfort from it,” he said.

Dr. Box is the region’s only-fellowship-trained surgical oncologist, and he has been part of AdventHealth for 21 years.

AdventHealth Harris Radiation Therapy Center

William Tong, MD, a radiation oncologist at the AdventHealth Harris Radiation Therapy Center, said AdventHealth’s attention to providing bright, aesthetically pleasing facilities also plays a valuable role in fostering a comforting place to visit.

“It’s part of the overall experience,” he said. “We’re very focused on making sure everyone is taken care of and has a good experience.”

At the AdventHealth Harris Radiation Therapy Center, a linear accelerator provides customized and targeted radiation aimed at destroying cancer cells while sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.

“The technology with radiation and radiation planning has evolved significantly in the last 20 years,” Dr. Tong said. “We use computers to do calculations we couldn’t possibly do on our own and three-dimensional imaging to see inside the body.”

Dr. Tong said treatment planning is a true team effort, with a medical physicist, dosimetrist, therapists, nurse navigators and front desk personnel working together to ensure a positive experience for the patients.

Surgical Oncology

Hak Lee, MD, serves as the director of robotic surgery and is the region’s only fellowship-trained urological oncologist. He is also is trained and certified in robotic surgery.

Dr. Lee said great care is taken to ensure patients never feel like a case number.

“When talking to my patients about surgery, I promise them that no matter what happens, I will never desert them in their time of need,’” he said. “I will always go through the entire process with them.”

AdventHealth Gordon is just as committed to providing state-of-the-art technologies to complement its whole-person approach to cancer care, he said.

In addition to traditional surgery, AdventHealth Gordon also offers multispecialty robotic-assisted surgical procedures for various types of urological cancers. Dr. Lee brought robotic-assisted surgical skills to the hospital when he joined the team in 2015 and now leads the robotics program, enlisting other surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries using the high-tech system.

“We have over 525-plus cases that we’ve done,” he said. “People used to go to Atlanta or Chattanooga to get their care, but they can get the same care or better cancer care for urology right here in our community.”

Edna Owens Breast Center

As part of a $25 million capital improvement plan, AdventHealth Gordon constructed the Edna Owens Breast Center. The center, which opened in July, provides one-stop, streamlined breast health care services, complete with the latest advances in breast imaging technology.

Jacobs said AdventHealth Gordon has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology for the past 12 consecutive years.

“That means we have the highest level of certification for breast mammography, breast ultrasound, breast biopsy and breast MRI,” she said.

In addition to ultrasound-guided and stereotactic breast biopsy capabilities and enhanced X-ray technology for performing bone density scans, the center boasts two mammography suites with high resolution 3D SmartCurveTM mammograms.

The breast center also offers genetic screening. “Many women take comfort in learning if they have a genetic disposition for breast cancer,” said Emily Tarpley, the center’s manager. “Genetic screenings start with a quick questionnaire, and then the screening progresses from there.”

After arming themselves with the knowledge, patients who screen positive can take a proactive approach to breast health.

“If we catch things early, the cure rate is very high for most cancers,” Jacobs said. “Screenings help us detect those things early, and that usually results in much easier treatment.”

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