Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment Options

When you have cancer, there’s nothing more important than finding it quickly and treating it effectively. All of it. To do that, you need a medical facility with a leading team of experienced doctors and cutting-edge diagnostic tools and treatments. You can get all of that, along with compassionate care, from our Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan Health System.

Diagnostics

Our Department of Radiology has provided high-quality medical care since 1913 and performs more than 500,000 examinations every year. Diagnostic radiology services include biopsies, CT scanning, MRI, mammography, nuclear medicine and ultrasound

Treatments

There are four main categories of cancer treatment: chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow or stem cell transplant, and surgery. Your team of doctors may recommend one or a combination of these treatments.

Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with drugs that can destroy cancer cells. Most people don't know that cancer chemotherapy includes a variety of drugs that are given in a variety of ways. We provide all available chemotherapy options, including continuous infusion chemotherapy, which is given slowly over one or more days through a pump that you carry with you.

Radiation is the use of high-energy radiation, primarily X-rays, to kill cancer cells. Our safety record for the administration of radiation is unsurpassed and our faculty include nationally recognized experts in the safe delivery of radiation therapy. We have developed our own computer software for intensity modulated radiation therapy, have been treating patients with stereotactic radiosurgery for over 15 years and have an established stereotactic body radiation program.

Bone marrow translant or stem cell transplant is a transfusion of bone marrow stem cells or blood stem cells which have been previously collected from the patient or a donor. Our multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, physician assistants and transplant coordinators are specially trained in and solely devoted to stem cell transplantation; and includes social workers, psychologists, nutritionists and patient educators trained to address the special needs of BMT patients and their families.

Surgery is a very common treatment for cancer, however, there are many different types. Some of the surgery options we offer are:

  • Stereotactic radiosurgery: Delivers precise, conventional external beam radiation therapy, which is especially useful to treat brain cancer.
  • For breast cancer, we offer breast-conserving surgery - also known as a lumpectomy - a modified radical mastectomy (breast removal) and under arm lymph node excision.
  • Laparoscopic robotic assisted prostatectomy: Performed with a surgical robot. Advantages include improved cosmetic result, less blood loss, and briefer and less intense post-operative convalescence.

Second Opinions

The main reason most patients seek a second opinion is reassurance that the first opinion is correct, and that all treatment options have been explored. A study by a team at the University of Michigan found that women with breast cancer who seek a second opinion on their mammograms from experienced specialists at a major cancer center frequently get a new plan for their care. Some even learn that they have cancer in more locations than they think. Second opinions are often covered by insurance, but patients usually need to seek them on their own.

Take the Next Step

Schedule an appointment by calling us at 800-865-1125.