Crosson Cancer Institute
Crosson Cancer Institute
Within the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute, you’ll find today’s most successful approaches to treating cancer.
As one of the nation’s top programs, we offer patients and families every advantage, including nationally respected experts, breakthroughs in immunology, dramatically less invasive surgical techniques, and leading-edge image-guided radiotherapies. Our award-winning cancer care includes nationally-recognized Centers of Excellence as well as one of the most comprehensive list of support services available anywhere. We are accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) – an honor earned by only a small number of the nation’s hospitals.
Our multidisciplinary treatment teams and comprehensive services come together for just one cause: offering you life-saving, life-changing care.
Our fellowship-trained surgeons, medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists and other cancer specialists work together to create the most effective treatment for each patient. Weekly cancer conferences allow numerous disciplines to review patient cases, discuss treatment options, and contribute their expertise. This multispecialty collaboration ensures new research and approaches are evaluated and applied, while offering patients the ultimate “second opinion” in determining their best step forward. Services include:
- Ann G. Fetters Diagnostic Imaging Center – For information call 714-447-6400, for appointments call 714-992-3132 Mon - Fri: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed on the weekends.
- Fred A. Jordan Family Radiation Oncology Center - 714-446-5632
- Kathryn T. McCarty Breast Center - 714-446-5650
- St. Jude Heritage Medical Group, Oncology and Hematology - 714-446-5900
- Center for Thoracic and Esophageal Diseases - 714-446-5900
- Virginia K. Crosson Cancer Center and Infusion Center - 714-446-5900
Ongoing research and clinical trials are creating breakthroughs in cancers once thought insurmountable—and we are a leader in bringing these benefits from the lab to the bedside.
Our specialists routinely use advanced genomic testing to identify the DNA alterations driving the growth of a patient’s tumor, allowing us to identify treatments and clinical trials that target those mutations.
Part of the Precision Oncology Alliance, a collaboration of the nation’s leading cancer research centers, we offer over 100 clinical trials focused on dozens of different cancers—giving our patients access to some of the most promising and aggressive treatments available.
- Biliary tract cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Brain cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Gastric cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Skin cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Uterine cancer
Financial patient advocate
We help patients and families with a history of cancer better understand and manage their cancer risk. Genetic testing and counseling shifts the focus from treatment to cancer prevention and early detection. Our certified genetic counselor offers individualized cancer risk assessment and prevention plans for those with a family history of cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you should be tested or need to see a genetic counselor. A physician referral is required. To make an appointment, please call 714-446-5630.
Hospice offers compassionate end-of-life care to patients with advanced cancer. Hospice care focuses on quality of life and meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and their families. The emphasis is on comfort rather than on curing. Hospice care can be provided in a variety of settings including the hospital, at home or in a nursing facility. A physician referral is required. For more information about hospice, please call St. Joseph Hospice 714-712-9559
Cancer treatment can cause swelling and a buildup of fluid in the soft tissues, often in the arms and legs, called lymphedema. Our experienced occupational therapists, certified in lymphedema therapy and massage, can help the body reabsorb accumulated fluid, and reduce swelling and discomfort. Within the St. Jude Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, we offer private treatment rooms solely dedicated to the comfort and optimal management of those with lymphedema. A physician referral is required. To make an appointment, please call 714-992-3000 ext. 4760
When you or your family member is diagnosed with cancer, the feeling can be overwhelming. Suddenly you’re facing a daunting array of decisions, medical specialists and unfamiliar language. That why we created our innovative Nurse Navigator program. Specially trained and experienced in oncology care, our Nurse Navigators are available to support you through every step of diagnosis and treatment.
During each phase of care, your nurse navigator will be there: providing education, helping you gather information, improving communication with your medical team, and ensuring you understand the tests and procedures you’ll be facing. Equally important, we’ll be there to offer support, encouragement and friendship.
Your nurse navigator is the person you can turn to for answers, help or just someone to talk to. From teaching you how to manage treatment side effects to helping coordinate services, your nurse navigator will remain personally involved in your care through every phase.
Your nurse navigator can:
- Help you and your family understand your diagnosis and treatment options
- Ensure you have the information you need to actively participate in your own care: empowering you to make informed decisions
- Coordinate your care with your medical team to relieve the emotional burden that often comes with a cancer diagnosis
- Enhance your communication with your physicians and other care providers
- Ensure your questions, concerns and clinical issues are successfully resolved
- Advocate for you and serve as a medical knowledgeable friend who is committed to helping you through your cancer journey
For more information or to contact our nurse navigators, please call 714-446-7181 ext. 2009.
Nurse navigator survey
Complete a survey regarding your Nurse Navigator experience.
Good nutrition is important during cancer treatment. Yet loss of appetite, nausea, changes in taste and other side effects, can affect your ability to get the nutrients you need. Our registered dietitian, who is board certified in oncology nutrition, can design a personalized plan to meet your specific needs and help you maximize your nutrition before, during and after treatment. Eating well can help you feel better, keep up your strength and energy, maintain your weight and your body’s store of nutrients, and better tolerate side effects. To make an appointment, please call 714-446-5982.
Our palliative care services include expert treatment of symptoms, such as pain, nausea, fatigue and shortness of breath, successfully improving your ability to tolerate treatment. Palliative care focuses on relieving your symptoms and increasing your quality of life, while helping you better understand your condition and choices for medical care.
Working with your doctors, our specially trained palliative care nurse practitioners can help relieve the physical and emotional burdens of cancer treatment. Available through outpatient, inpatient and home visits, our palliative care program requires a physician referral. To better understand what palliative care can offer you, please call 714-992-3000 ext. 6341 or talk to your doctor. For Outpatient services such as care coordination and community resources, please contact 714-446-5591.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation
One possible side effect of cancer and its treatment is incontinence – and our pelvic floor rehabilitation program can help. Our experienced physical therapists will create an individualized program of biofeedback, pelvic floor muscle strengthening, and abdominal stabilization, helping you to control incontinence and regain your quality of life. Particularly helpful for those who have undergone treatment for gynecological and prostate cancers, this program requires a referral from your physician. To make an appointment, please call 714-578-8720 ext. 4410.
Prosthetics and wigs
Cancer treatment can create changes in your appearance. To help manage those changes, we offer a wide selection of specialty items, from breast prostheses to high quality wigs. Fountain Orthotics, located on the first floor of the St. Jude Medical Plaza, offers expert and compassionate assistance in helping patients maintain their confidence and self-image.
Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fountain Orthotics offers mastectomy bras, compression garments, breast forms, and custom orthotics, as well as attractive and affordable wigs and hairpieces. A certified fitter is available to help you find a look that works for you. For more information, please call 714-871-9960.
Conveniently located nearby is our Expressions Kiosk, which offers hats, scarves and inspirational items to support cancer survivorship. The kiosk is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rehabilitation and wellness program
At St. Jude, our unique Cancer Rehabilitation and Wellness Program offers patients the physical and emotional support they need to regain their quality of life through pain specialists, speech therapists and occupational therapists, offering highly effective, individualized care. Our program combines the newest evidence-based cancer rehabilitation practices with an innovative list of services that covers the spectrum of symptoms, from incontinence to pain. The result is patients recover their energy, well-being and quality of life more completely and more quickly, whether they are still living with cancer or in remission. A physician referral is required. Please call 714-578-8753.
Our oncology social workers can help you navigate the health care system and find support to manage the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer. Knowledgeable about the practical and psychosocial effects of cancer treatment and survivorship, our highly-trained social workers offer counseling for patients and families, as well as help with financial issues, transportation issues, and disability/insurance issues. Please call 714-446-7181 ext. 2041.
We offer spiritual guidance to patients and families of all religious faiths. Services include visitation, spiritual and emotional support, pastoral counseling, crisis intervention, prayer, sacraments and bereavement resources, as well as support in bioethical issues, including end-of-life care and decisions. Our certified chaplains will work closely with your clergy while you are at St. Jude Medical Center. To reach Spiritual Care, please call 714-992-3000 ext. 7777.
Moving Beyond Cancer: Rehabilitation and Wellness
The end of treatment can be both exciting and stressful, bringing equal parts celebration and worry. You may find life returns to what you knew before you had cancer, but for others, the physical and emotional changes don’t all disappear with the last treatment.
Physical side effects, such as fatigue, lack of stamina, difficulty focusing, or incontinence, can last for months after treatment ends. Emotional effects, including fear of a cancer re-occurrence, dying young or leaving things undone, can create ongoing anxiety or depression. Tackling these issues is often easier with the help of experts.
Giving you the physical and emotional support you need to regain your quality of life is what our Cancer Rehabilitation and Wellness Program is all about. One of the few programs of its kind in the state, we successfully help cancer survivors—whether living with cancer, in remission, or cured—recover more completely and quickly. For more information on how this program can help you, please call 714-578-8753.
Don't go it alone
It’s not just during treatment that you will need to lean on others for strength and comfort. Find sources of support from family, friends, church groups or a counselor. Equally important, join a cancer support group. It can be extremely helpful to share experiences and give and take advice from other cancer survivors. Whether a formal support group, church friends, or a counselor, make sure you have a place to go with concerns.
If you find yourself feeling anxious or worried, going it alone will only make your sense of distress stronger. Being able to talk about your fears with friends, family and other cancer survivors is a good starting point for effective coping. If you need help finding the necessary support, talk to one of our oncology social workers, our spiritual care team, or your priest or pastor.
Regardless of how active you were prior to diagnosis, exercise after cancer treatment can improve your fitness, increase muscle strength, reduce fatigue, lessen anxiety, and make you feel better about yourself. There is some evidence that a healthy weight, eating right, and being physically active can help reduce the risk of cancer reoccurring as well as other serious chronic diseases.
The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer survivors take these steps:
- Take part in regular physical activity
- Avoid inactivity and return to normal daily activities as soon as possible
- Exercise at least 150 minutes per week
- Include strength training exercises at least two days per week.
Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. This is especially important if your treatment affected your lungs, your heart, or if you are at risk for lung or heart disease. If you were inactive before cancer treatment, you may need to start slowly, such as a short, brisk walk.
Be sure you understand what you can and can’t do - and get help. While some people can safely begin or maintain their own exercise program, many will have better results with support. We offer experts in exercise and rehabilitation who specialize in helping cancer survivors get active. Our Cancer Rehabilitation and Wellness Program will help you find the type of exercise that’s right for you and offer the support and encouragement you need. Call us at 714-578-8753.
One of the best things you can do after treatment is put healthy eating habits into place. Try to eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruits every day. Choose whole grain foods instead of white flour and sugars. Replace red meat with fish and chicken. Stay away from hydrogenated oils and saturated fats, and choose healthy fats like olive oil and avocados. Cut back on processed meats like hot dogs, deli meats and bacon, and stock up on beans, nuts and seeds.
Eating a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of fish, fruits and vegetables can help you feel better and improve your health. If needed, it can also help you lose weight. Obesity is linked with a higher risk of developing some cancers, so use regular exercise and nutritious meals to get to a healthy weight.
If treatment side effects, such as loss of appetite, changes in taste, or nausea, are getting in the way, try eating small meals every two hours and talk to your doctor, or our oncology-certified registered dietitian, about how to maximize your nutrition. At no charge, our experienced dietitian will help you meet your individual goals.
A free class and support group is also available - called Journey to Health - which provides education and camaraderie for those who have completed treatment and want to improve their health and manage their weight. To join, or to schedule a free appointment with our registered dietitian, please call 714-446-5982.
Checking in with your doctor
For years after treatment ends, you’ll see your doctor for follow-up. Ask for and write down a proposed schedule for follow-up visits and the recommended testing to monitor your recovery. You’ll also want to know what signs to look for to detect a cancer reoccurrence as early as possible and to recognize any long-term side effects of treatment. For example, if you received a medication that might affect your bone density, find out how your bones can be monitored in the future and what treatments are available.
These check-ups and follow-up tests or scans are an important part of maintaining your health and a chance for you to talk to your doctor about new questions or issues. Yet it’s normal to feel anxious before appointments.
To help with the anxiety, write down any questions you have about symptoms, emotional aspects of survivorship, or even practical issues. Ask a friend or family member to sit with you while you wait for your scans or go with you to doctors’ visits. In the days before your appointment, schedule activities that can help distract you from worrying, such as an exercise class and having lunch with a friend. Talk to your doctor or one of our oncology social workers about how you can get help if your anxiety persists or becomes overwhelming.
Moving on emotionally
For many, there is the ever-present thought that at any moment, a scan or test may move them from survivorship right back into active cancer treatment. While that fear is completely normal, the unique challenge facing survivors is to get on with living, celebrate the joys of the present, and recognize when you need help - and ask for it.
Celebrate milestones, such as the anniversary of the end of chemotherapy, the date of your cancer diagnosis, or the anniversary of the surgery to treat your cancer. Consider volunteering for a non-profit organization or a cancer mentoring program, or get involved in your church’s outreach or mission efforts - find something meaningful to add to your life.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with anxiety or worry and unable to move forward in your life, get help from one of our oncology social workers, a counselor, or your priest or pastor.