Cancer treatments and your body’s reactions to them will vary, and
will depend on the type of cancer you have, its location, its growth or
stage of development, and your entire treatment plan. Some people with
cancer only have one treatment, but most have a combination, such as surgery
with radiation therapy.
Your healthcare team will discuss your best options for care and will explain
the process, step by step. Be sure to talk to your patient navigator at
any point about questions or concerns.
The main types of cancer treatment include:
Biological therapy, also called immunotherapy, is a type of cancer treatment
that helps your immune system fight cancer. One reason that cancer cells
thrive is because they are able to hide from your immune system. Certain
immunotherapies can mark cancer cells so it is easier for the immune system
to find and destroy them. Other immunotherapies boost your immune system
to work better against cancer.
Chemotherapy / Infusion Services
Chemotherapy uses strong medication to target cancer cells. Chemo can come
in several forms-it can be a pill, injection, or most often it is given
intravenously. Side effects will mainly depend on the specific drugs and
dose. These drugs affect cancer cells and other cells that divide rapidly.
Chemo may be administered daily, weekly or even monthly, and can be scheduled
at any stage of your treatment-before, during or after surgery or radiation
Not every patient receives chemo. Even if you don’t have chemo, routine
follow up with your doctor is common for the rest of your life.
We offer state-of-the-art comprehensive infusion services, and we are here
to help with your specific needs. Every patient is different, but chemo
may be administered daily, weekly or even monthly. Chemotherapy treatments
that are given through an IV can last 30 minutes up to a couple of hours.
During this time, we encourage you to bring books, magazines, sewing projects
or even a close friend or family member to sit with you.
For more information about infusion services at Baton Rouge General, please
call (225) 237-1600, or email
Many types of cancer are diagnosed initially through imaging studies such
as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, mammography or MRI - all different types
of non-invasive imaging studies that allow physicians to better analyze
areas of the body. Images are then reviewed by Board Certified radiologists,
with some holding special certification in specialty areas.
Baton Rouge General offers specialized imaging, including 3D Mammography
- an advanced technology that allows your doctor to examine your breast
tissue one layer at a time. With a 41% increase in invasive cancer detection,
3D Mammography takes pictures of each overlapping breast tissues, including
blood vessels, fat, milk ducts and ligaments.
Imaging Center is capable of performing needs from general radiology, digital fluoroscopy,
ultrasound and CT scans to MRI, mammography and nuclear medicine. Our
Women's Center works in conjunction with the Imaging Center, has been named Louisiana's
First Comprehensive Breast Center by the National Accreditation Program
for Breast Centers, is accredited in mammography by the American College
of Radiology and offers
3D Mammography for the most detailed imaging.
Imaging tests are typically ordered by your regular physician or oncologist.
To find a physician on Baton Rouge General's medical staff, please
click here. To schedule a mammogram at our Women's Center, please talk to your physician's
office and ask for a referral. For more information about diagnostic imaging
or the services available at Baton Rouge General, please call (225) 763-4090.
Genetics and Precision Medicine
Precision medicine is an approach to patient care that allows doctors to
select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on a genetic
understanding of their disease. Today, when you are diagnosed with cancer,
you usually receive the same treatment as others who have same type and
stage of cancer. Even so, different people may respond differently, and,
until recently, doctors didn’t know why. After decades of research,
scientists now understand that patients’ tumors can have genetic
changes that cause cancer to grow and spread. They have also learned that
the changes that occur in one person’s cancer may not occur in others
who have the same type of cancer. And, the same cancer-causing changes
may be found in different types of cancer. Many new drugs used in precision
medicine are being tested right now in clinical trials.
Hidden Scar Surgery
Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery is one of the most advanced surgical
options in breast cancer surgery.
If you are a candidate for Hidden Scar Surgery, your healthcare team will
discuss removing your breast cancer surgically with a mastectomy procedure,
which removes all breast tissue, or a lumpectomy, which removes only part
of the breast tissue.
The Hidden Scar Approach allows our surgeons to place your incision in
a location that is hard to see, so that the scar is not visible when your
incision heals. Hidden Scar can be performed for a nipple-sparing mastectomy
or a lumpectomy procedure. Patients who undergo the Hidden Scar approach
do not have a higher risk of cancer recurrence than patients who undergo
any other type of technique. You may qualify for Hidden Scar Breast Cancer
Surgery based on the size and location of your tumor, your breast shape,
and your breast size.
Ask your healthcare team if you are a candidate for this leading treatment.
Some tumors need hormones to grow. Hormone therapies are a targeted therapy
that can work in two ways. Some prevent your body from making specific
hormones such androgens (including testosterone), estrogen, and progesterone.
Others prevent cancer cells from getting or using the natural hormones
produced by the body. Hormone therapy can lessen the chance that cancer
will return or stop or slow its growth. Hormone therapy may be used to
reduce or prevent symptoms in patients who are not able to have surgery
or radiation therapy.
Led by one of the nation’s most experienced IL-2 oncologists, Dr.
Gerald Miletello, our highly skilled medical team is dedicated to caring
for patients undergoing PROLEUKIN IL-2 therapy. IL-2 has been used for
more than 15 years in the treatment of metastatic melanoma and more than
20 years in the treatment of metastatic kidney cancer (renal cell carcinoma),
and differs from other types of chemotherapy because it’s a form
of immunotherapy that uses the body’s natural immune system to fight
cancer, instead of directly inhibiting cancer cells.
IL-2 is a form of injection therapy administered by IV infusion. During
treatment, you will stay in the hospital but you are able to go home during
the rest period. Your doctor may be able to determine whether the tumors
have shrunk within two months after you receive the first course of IL-2
therapy, although some results have been seen as early as one month after
Metastatic melanoma and metastatic kidney cancer patients whose tumors
shrink receive an average of two treatment courses, depending on the success
of the first course and the patient’s health. Therapy may be stopped
at any time if treatment is not tolerated. Side effects from IL-2 are
managed by temporarily stopping therapy until they subside.
Click here for more information.
Patients who receive radiation treatment have a series of images taken
(CT, MRI, X-ray, etc). After your doctor examines these images and information
from other tests, they will develop a comprehensive treatment plan specifically
for you. During radiation treatment, you lie on a special table and a
large machine moves around you, delivering carefully planned doses of
radiation to the targeted area. Depending on the area of your cancer,
you may have a special cushion or mask molded specifically for you to
help position you in the same place each time you have your treatment.
Radiation is painless and fast, and our
innovative equipment delivers treatment using a 25% smaller X-ray dosage than with previous options. Typically, most treatment sessions take a
total of 15-20 minutes. If needed, you may undress in a private dressing
area right outside of the treatment room and put on a gown.
A member of the staff will take you into the treatment room, position you
on the table, and set all the equipment according to your needs. You will
be able to select music of your choice on an overhead system and once
you are ready, the technician will leave the room, but our staff is never
far away. During your treatment you will be in voice contact with our
staff, and they will monitor you by closed circuit video to make certain
you are comfortable and everything is going according to plan. Once your
treatment session is finished, a staff member will come into the room
to assist you back to the dressing area.
One treatment option for certain types of cancer is surgical removal. The
surgical removal of a tumor, such as a breast lump, a prostatectomy, or
a cancerous section of the colon, can occur at several stages of your
treatment. Often, it happens shortly after you have been diagnosed, as
part of the first phase of treatment. However, sometimes the physicians
agree that it makes sense to begin your treatment by shrinking the tumor
before it is surgically removed. At BRG, our surgeons are trained to use
advanced technologies and procedures such as Hidden Scar Surgery, an approach
to removing breast cancer with an incision in a location that is hard
to see. Some types of cancer - especially those of the blood - are not
One treatment option for certain types of cancer is surgical removal. Removing
tumors such as a breast lump, a prostatectomy, or cancerous sections of
the colon can occur at several stages of treatment, and often happens
shortly after diagnosis. Sometimes your care team will determine that
it makes sense to begin treatment by shrinking a tumor before removing
it. At BRG, our surgeons are trained to use advanced technologies and
procedures such as Hidden Scar Surgery, an approach to removing breast
cancer with an incision in a location that is hard to see. Some types
of cancer - especially those of the blood - are not treated surgically.
Targeted therapy targets the changes in cancer cells that help them grow,
divide, and spread. Most targeted therapies help treat cancer by interfering
with specific proteins that help tumors grow and spread throughout the
body. They can help the immune system destroy cancer cells, stop cancer
cells from growing, stop signals that help form blood vessels, deliver
cell-killing substances to cancer cells, cause cancer cell death and starve
cancer of the hormones it needs to grow.