Mother and daughter at garden

A cancer diagnosis can be scary, confusing and overwhelming, whether it’s you or someone you love.

At Providence Holy Family Hospital, cancer is never something you go through alone. Our Cancer Services team will guide all aspects of your cancer care, offering the most advanced treatments, promising clinical trials and support services.

We recognize the importance of stopping cancer before it starts and catching it early through our screening and prevention programs.

From our state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and treatments to our attentive staff who know that a friendly ear and caring touch can often be powerful medicine, we’ll be by your side no matter where you’re at on your cancer journey.

At Providence Holy Family Hospital, we participate in clinical trials sponsored by drug companies and the National Cancer Institute. These are research studies that test new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. They also look at ways to improve patients’ quality of life.

Types of trials

There are several phases to a clinical trial:

  • Phase I trials are the first tests involving people. They look at roughly 15 to 30 people and focus on finding out if the dose of a new medication is safe.
  • Phase II trials look at a slightly larger number of people — usually less than 100. Their goal is to see if a new treatment works and if it causes any harmful side effects.
  • Phase III trials involve thousands of people in many different locations. These trials evaluate whether the new treatment is better than existing treatments. The FDA bases approval for new treatments on these results.
  • Phase IV trials focus on tracking new treatments to assess side effects over time.
  • It’s possible to participate in any of these phases.
Why participate in a trial?

If you take part in a clinical trial, you may:

  • Gain access to doctors who specialize in treating your condition.
  • Have your health monitored especially closely.
  • Help researchers learn about new treatments that could help you or others in the future.
  • Receive new treatments before they’re available to the public.

Although your safety is our top priority in every trial, clinical research may involve some risk. Before you can participate, you talk to a member of the research team to learn about the possible risks. They also explain what researchers will expect from you during the trial. You must sign a document that confirms you understand and agree to all that the trial involves.

Decisions about participating are strictly up to you, and you may withdraw from the trial at any time.

We base treatment recommendations on the type of cancer you have, your lifestyle and your preferences. You’ll always be in charge of decisions about your treatment, but we’ll be there to answer your questions and provide guidance.

Treatments that may be part of your care include:

  • Biological therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Integrative medicine
    • Acupuncture
    • Exercise
    • Lymphedema prevention and treatment
    • Massage
    • Spiritual counseling
    • Yoga
  • Radiation therapy
    • Brachytherapy
    • Radiosurgery
  • Surgery
Breast cancer services

Services for breast cancer include:

  • Breast care coordinator — Our breast cancer coordinators can help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options. They also provide emotional support and information about community resources, such as financial assistance, transportation, wigs, breast prostheses and medications.
  • Breast tumor board — If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, our tumor board will evaluate your case and make personalized recommendations for your care. The board meets weekly and consists of experts from many different disciplines. Members include a pathologist, breast radiologist, breast surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, breast care coordinator and research coordinator.
  • Mentors — We offer carefully selected mentors who have been through breast cancer themselves to share their experience on a one-on-one basis. Mentors may be patients or patient family members.
  • Screening — We offer all types of screening for breast cancer, including mammograms, breast MRI and ultrasound. If your test finds something suspicious, we perform a stereotactic biopsy, a procedure that removes cells to look for cancer with the aid of mammography to precisely locate the area in question.

Members of your medical team may include:

  • Care coordinator
  • Doctors — radiologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and pathologists
  • Integrative medicine specialists — acupuncturists, massage therapists and spiritual care providers
  • Nurses
  • Research coordinators
  • Social workers