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A Place for Hope - WVU Cancer Institute

A Place for Hope

At the WVU Cancer Institute, we treat you not just as a patient, but as a person – and we strive to treat you close to home.

We understand that receiving a cancer diagnosis is not easy news to hear. Navigating cancer treatment is challenging and often scary. But you may also feel hopeful when you’re in the right place for care, because modern treatments help more people survive cancer than ever before.

Each day, our compassionate teams strive to be that place — a place of hope and support, where plans for a life post-cancer treatment can begin.

At the WVU Cancer Institute, we are passionate about providing individualized, world-class cancer care right here in West Virginia and throughout our region, while striving to keep our patients closer to home. It’s evident in everything we do.

Why Multidisciplinary Care Teams Matter

Over the years, research has shown that patients do better when they have more than one cancer specialist. That’s why we use a team approach to cancer care. Experts from many specialties work together to plan and provide your treatments. We call these partnerships “multidisciplinary care teams.”

Think about your favorite song. You probably enjoy it because it’s just the right combination of vocals, guitars, drums, keyboards, or other instruments. If one of those elements was missing or not in sync, the song might not work.

Timing and harmony matter in cancer care, too — it’s important to get the right combination of treatments in the right order. Our multidisciplinary care teams make sure that happens. You’ll have many professionals working with you and for you from the time you’re diagnosed until you finish your treatments and face life after active cancer treatments.

Depending on the type of cancer you have, these professionals may include:

  • Radiologists who use imaging tests to see inside your body
  • Pathologists who look at some of your cells under a microscope to see if they are cancerous
  • Medical oncologists who determine your systemic treatment that can include chemotherapy
  • Cancer surgeons who remove tumors from the body
  • Radiation oncologists who coordinate targeted radiation therapy treatments
  • Pharmacists who specialize in all the latest cancer medicines
  • Nurses who help guide you through your treatments and become your “boots on the ground” to help you navigate the journey
  • Rehabilitation professionals who help you regain your strength and improve function
  • Social workers who connect you to support services and community resources

Leading-edge Cancer Treatments

When it comes to cancer care, you want the best — and you want it close to home.

Our multidisciplinary medical and surgical teams merge the latest cancer medications, therapies, and surgical approaches with groundbreaking technology and patient-driven research. This brings you leading-edge cancer treatment that is personalized just for you.

As part of West Virginia’s top academic health system, we provide patients with access to the most advanced cancer care — both medicines and procedures — that are not widely available in non-academic settings.

“Being an academic medical center means we can deliver focused, highly specialized care,” says Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, MD, director of the WVU Cancer Institute and associate professor of surgical oncology/breast surgery.

“We have teams of dedicated researchers and clinical scientists here that are doing work daily to push forward our knowledge of cancer care,” Dr. Hazard-Jenkins adds. “Many of our providers are involved in WVU-initiated research, meaning we’re developing and testing entirely new pathways of care.”

The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center is the only treatment facility in West Virginia able to offer certain specialized cancer treatment services, including blood and bone marrow transplants, photopheresis and CAR T-cell therapy.

Consensus-driven Care

Our multidisciplinary care teams have ongoing meetings, usually once a week, to discuss each patient who’s going through treatment. This means there are many people — each with highly specialized expertise — weighing in on your care plan. Together, they make sure you’re getting the most effective combination of treatments for your cancer and the services you need to support your physical and emotional health.

In many cases, you’ll be able to meet with several members of your cancer care team on the same day. This helps reduce the number of trips you need to make to our facilities, which is important when you live far away or aren’t feeling well.

No matter what type of cancer you have, you’ll take comfort knowing you have an entire team focused on you — so you can focus on getting better.

Bringing Science, Research, and Patient Care Together

Because our providers are leaders in their sub-specialties of hematology and oncology, we can offer highly specialized, forward-thinking care for an array of cancer diagnoses — from breast, lung, or prostate cancer to leukemias and lymphomas.

“We blend science and research into everything we do as providers,” says Hazard-Jenkins. “We have true clinician-scientists here that spend part of their day seeing patients or performing surgeries and part of their day in the research lab. In that way, we’re able to take what we’re learning through research and directly apply it for the benefit of our patients.”

As a recognized national clinical trials site, the WVU Cancer Institute gives patients access to truly state-of-the-art treatments that are still being studied, including newly developed chemotherapy drugs, cutting-edge immunotherapies, and new, less invasive surgical procedures for tumor removal. Plus, participating patients will take pride in knowing they’re helping forge the next generation of cancer care.

“When you put our physicians and researchers together, all working with the same high level of passion, you build an environment that allows innovative thinking and the opportunity to push the envelope of cancer care forward a little bit more,” Hazard-Jenkins says.

Frontline and Behind-the-scenes Staff Who Care

Our staff members truly love the work they do — and our patients. You’ll see that in the way you’re greeted by our friendly parking valets and receptionists. You’ll see it in the way our providers take that extra time to ask about your interests and life outside these walls — at the same time you’re being cared for within them.

“I’ve gotten letters from patients thanking us, in particular, for our kind, welcoming parking valets. They do an amazing job of putting our patients at ease as they come through our doors,” says Hazard-Jenkins. “Because some of our patients may receive daily treatments here for six weeks at a time or more, our staff becomes like this new family to them.”

If you have a new cancer diagnosis, our dedicated team of patient care coordinators will reach out to you and your providers to help set up any necessary treatments and appointments. They’ll also connect with your primary care provider to acquire lab results and other medical records so that your first appointment here is both in-depth and informative.

As a patient at the WVU Cancer Institute, you’ll have an entire team of support staff working on your behalf. Of course, there are the nurses, oncologists, surgeons, and therapists that you’ll get to know well during your visits here. But other, behind-the-scenes advocates will also be working tirelessly to make sure your cancer care journey with us is as comfortable as possible.

“We have social workers who are making sure you are not running into financial difficulties. We have clinical pharmacists who are monitoring side effects and drug-to-drug interactions. We have nutritionists who can help if nutrition challenges arise during treatments,” Hazard-Jenkins explains. “There is a big team here that supports each of our patients, and we all care about our patients tremendously.”

We understand that no one enters our doors willingly. No one wishes to get cancer. But it’s our mission to be a place of healing and comfort. With that goal in mind, our staff works tirelessly every day to help make our patients’ cancer care journeys as easy and pleasant as they possibly can be.

Close to Home Care

We work hard to bring cancer care where our patients need it most.

Our flagship location in Morgantown is our largest, most comprehensive cancer care facility. But we also have a comprehensive network of satellite locations, which means you’ll often be able to schedule appointments close to home — no matter where you live in West Virginia or surrounding states. View our regional locations.

“We understand how important it is for our patients to be able to access high-quality care close to home. It helps them stay connected with their own family and friend support systems, which are a driving force in so many of our patients’ care success stories,” says Hazard-Jenkins.

Our smaller regional sites offer infusion services and outpatient medical oncology, while our larger regional sites provide a wide range of medical, surgical, and radiation oncology services.

Additionally, our growing number of outreach services — including the Bonnie’s Bus mobile mammography program, as well as other community-based cancer screening efforts — allow us to bring our cancer care expertise to citizens in every part of the state.

“Traditionally, there’s been this model in healthcare that you have to ‘come to us’ to get care,” says Hazard-Jenkins. “But that’s starting to shift through telehealth and other outreach initiatives. We understand the power in going to patients and serving them where they are.”

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