Mercy Hospital South Cancer Center

At Mercy Hospital South, formerly St. Anthony’s, we offer some of the most advanced treatments for cancer in a caring and accessible environment. Our multispecialty cancer team, led by experienced and board-certified cancer specialists, has treated more than 30,000 cancer patients.

Mercy Hospital South is accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer (CoC).  The hallmark of our program is rapid access to premier cancer care. Because we know that the word "cancer" can cause significant stress, we pledge to schedule you with the right specialist(s) in a timely manner and to start appropriate treatment as soon as possible. The majority of new cancer patients will see a doctor within 72 hours and have a coordinated clinical care plan developed within one week.

David M. Sindelar Cancer Center

On Oct. 1, 2018, groundbreaking for the new David M. Sindelar Cancer Center began. It will provide comprehensive cancer care for the diagnosis and treatment of all cancers, including high-tech diagnostic and treatment capabilities, alternative therapies, a new breast center and access to medical, radiation and surgical oncologists. The center’s placement adjacent to the main hospital will allow for a smooth flow of co-workers, supportive services and patients from the two-story, 78,000-square-foot center to Mercy Hospital South. It is scheduled to open in spring 2020. To see what the new cancer center will look like, view the video below.

 

Multispecialty Cancer Team

At Mercy Hospital South, we have a complete team of specialists, all dedicated to providing comprehensive, coordinated cancer care.

  • Medical Oncologists — manage your cancer care from diagnosis through treatment. They coordinate the care from the entire cancer team and oversee specifically chemotherapy and other targeted drug therapies, as needed.
  • Radiation Oncologists — use high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. They are specialists in identifying the location of cancer cells so that they can beam radiation directly to cancerous tumors and lesions while minimizing harmful rays to healthy, surrounding tissue.
  • Neurosurgeons and Neurologists — oversee various treatment options for cancer of the brain or spinal cord, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Surgical Oncologists — specialize in surgical removal of tumors.
  • Breast Surgical Oncologists — focus specifically on cancers of the breast.
  • Lung/Thoracic oncologists — specialize in cancer of the lung, chest or esophagus.
  • Colon/Gastrointestinal Oncologists — treat cancers of the colon, esophagus, pancreas, liver, stomach, small intestines and rectum.
  • Reconstructive Surgeons — specialize in repair of abnormalities following surgery to remove a tumor or tissue.
  • Diagnostic Radiologists — use a wide range of imaging techniques, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine, among others, to help determine the extent of disease.
  • Pathologists — examine tissue samples under a microscope to identify abnormalities and diseases. Pathologists determine the type of tumor, its grade and staging.
  • Oncology Nurses — experienced nurses who specialize in the care of both inpatient and outpatient cancer patients. Oncology nurses also manage cancer clinical trial enrollment and serve as nurse educators.
  • Patient Care Navigators — experienced oncology nurses who specifically serve as guides for patients and their families to help identify and navigate complex care paths for ongoing treatment as well as access resources and education. Mercy Hospital South currently has patient navigators focused on breast cancer and lung cancer patients.

Cancer Support Services

We recognize that coordinating all aspects of cancer care can be confusing and sometimes stressful. Mercy Hospital South has several support services available to patients and their families:

Oncology Navigators

For patients with breast or lung cancer, St. Anthony’s offers trained cancer care navigators to help guide patients through the treatment pathway, from diagnosis through final treatment. Our navigators help educate patients on the various treatment options discussed by their physician, answers questions, and helps to identify any resources that may be needed. The navigator also helps to coordinate the various tests, consultations and treatment sessions that are needed for each patient.

To reach our Breast Care Navigator, call Lisa Salvati, RN, MSN, at 314-587-0298 or email her at lisa.salvati@mercy.net.

To reach our Lung Cancer Navigator, call Pamela Lynn, R.N., at 314-525-6095 or email her at pamela.lynn@mercy.net.

Family Resource Center

Mercy Hospital South has a dedicated Family Resource Center for families of patients undergoing cancer treatment. We recognize that cancer treatment often requires long hours and days at the medical center, which can cause stress and interrupt typical family time. The Center has a small kitchenette to serve meals and a place to sit down as a family to have dinners. It also has comfortable seating to gather and watch television or read books or magazines. 

Look Good, Feel Better Cosmetic Program

This program, through the American Cancer Society, offers professional make-up and hair styling for women patients currently under treatment for cancer. In addition, St. Mercy Hospital South offers free wigs and hats for patients who request them. These items are available in the Radiation Oncology area of the Cancer Institute.

Cancer Support Groups

Mercy Hospital South offers two support groups for cancer patients and families.

  • Prostate Cancer Support Group: Meets the fourth Thursday of every month (except December) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the 4th floor conference room of the Heart Hospital.
  • Breast Cancer Support Group: Meets the second Thursday of every month at 5:30 p.m. in the radiation oncology waiting area in the Cancer Center.

Nutritional Counseling

Nutrition is an integral part of cancer treatment. At Mercy Hospital South, registered, licensed dietitians are available two days per week to meet with cancer patients and family members for discussions of nutrition-related questions and concerns. Keeping cancer patients well-nourished can allow for better tolerance of treatments and improved outcomes. Those needing supplements to increase calorie and protein intake are provided with samples of various products. Through charitable organizations, our dietitians can also access supplements for patients who need them but are unable to afford the cost.

Pastoral Care Services

Mercy Hospital South has chaplains available 24-hours a day, seven days a week to support the spiritual care needs of all patients and their families. We also have a chapel located on the main floor of the hospital that’s open for prayer and meditation. Catholic Masses and ecumenical prayer services are held every weekday.

Social Work Services

Mercy Hospital South offers the services of a masters-level oncology social worker as part of the treatment process. The oncology social worker is trained in working with patients experiencing distress related to a cancer diagnosis. Distress is defined as an unpleasant emotional state that can affect the way a person feels, thinks and acts. The oncology social worker can work with patients on a variety of issues to alleviate distress. Some potential areas of support are:

  • Emotional support, crisis counseling, coping and counseling referrals
  • Family support and resources, including resources for children
  • Financial concerns and assistance
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Support groups
  • Employment issues related to cancer
  • Community resources
  • Housing
  • Fertility
  • Home care and in-home assistance
  • Medical equipment, wigs and breast prosthesis
  • Assisted living/nursing home placement
  • Living will/Durable Power of Attorney
  • Hospice

Financial Counseling Services

Covering the cost of cancer treatment is a common concern for patients. At Mercy Hospital South, we never want cost to be a deterrent to receiving treatment. Through our financial counseling services, patients can be linked to numerous foundations and drug companies as well as our Patient Accounts department to explore options and get the assistance needed.

Palliative Care

For patients experiencing pain, anxiety, depression, nausea or chronic fatigue that sometimes accompany cancer treatment, we have board-certified internal medicine specialists who have advanced certification in palliative medicine. Palliative care focuses on the relief of physical, emotional and spiritual distress. At Mercy Hospital South, we have one of the few palliative programs in the region that is physician-directed. Also on the palliative care team are care managers (social workers) and chaplains.

Hospice Care

Mercy Hospital South has a long-standing reputation for offering premier medical care as well as emotional and spiritual support for those nearing the end of life. We provide compassionate hospice services either in a patient’s home or in “our home” at the Fern de Greeff Hospice House on our hospital campus.

Outpatient Infusion Center

The Outpatient Infusion Center at Mercy Hospital South provides a comfortable, relaxed setting for patients to receive infusion services such as chemotherapy.  Our Center is supervised by a certified oncology nurse with a team of RNs and support staff who are specifically educated on the care of infusion patients.

Treatments are scheduled in cycles — typically over several days or weeks — and can last from 15 minutes to several hours each time, depending on each patient’s customized treatment plan.

Open chairs as well as private spaces are available for infusion services. Televisions, Internet access, CD players and tablets help patients pass the time while in the Infusion Center. Warm blankets and pillows also are provided, as are lunch and snacks throughout the day.

Infusion Services Close to Home — In addition to our own cancer patients, Mercy Hospital South accepts referrals to its Infusion Center from patients seen in other facilities. This enables patients to receive the infusion services they need, but potentially closer to home. We collaborate directly with your referring physician to coordinate infusion therapy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, also called medical oncology, is the use of powerful drugs to kill cancer. It is considered a systemic (body-wide) treatment because the medicine affects the entire body, not just the cancerous site.

Your doctor will determine the best way to receive chemotherapy if it is prescribed. Options include

  • Orally — by taking a pill or pills prescribed by your physician
  • Intravenously — through an IV directly into your veins
  • Injections — with injections into the bloodstream or into the fluid that surrounds your spinal cord or brain
  • Chemoembolization — one of the most advanced chemotherapy treatments, chemoembolization puts chemotherapy drugs directly into the arteries to cut off a tumor’s blood supply.
  • Chemotherapy may be prescribed on its own to treat cancer or may be used in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation.

The Radiation Oncology Center at Mercy Hospital South offers a wide range of some of the most advanced radiation therapies for the treatment of cancer.

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to treat a variety of medical conditions, especially cancer. It is often used following cancer surgery or in addition to chemotherapy.

Radiation treatment may be given by means of machines (Linear Accelerators) that produce high energy X-rays or electrons (negatively charged particles) that are then aimed at the location of your cancer. Radioactive materials also may be implanted directly in a tumor or introduced through tubes placed in the specific site of interest.

A multispecialty team will be responsible for your cancer treatment in the radiation oncology center. The team uses the Varian Eclipse®, a sophisticated 3D conformal treatment planning system to pinpoint your cancer and develop a radiation treatment plan that is customized to your particular type, location and stage of cancer.

Advanced technologies available at Mercy Hospital South are able to precisely target and shape radiation beams so that patients receive the highest dose possible to destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissues, nerves and organs.

Surgical Oncology

The majority of patients diagnosed with cancer will undergo surgery or have a surgical procedure in combination with other therapies, such as radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery is sometimes performed prior to these other therapies to remove the bulk of the cancer. In other cases, radiation or chemotherapy is offered first to shrink a tumor and make it easier to surgically remove later.

The surgical oncologists at Mercy Hospital South have long-standing expertise in surgically removing cancer and in treating both primary tumors and those that have spread to other parts of the body, known as metastatic cancer.

Surgery can be performed for many reasons:

  • Prevent cancer: precancerous polyps may be removed to reduce or eliminate the risk of cancer developing.
  • Diagnose Cancer: tissue samples from a suspicious mass may be removed (called a biopsy) and evaluated for the presence of cancer. Tissue samples also can help pathologists stage the cancer.
  • Cure Cancer: If surgeons can remove an entire tumor and the cancer has not spread, it may be that no other cancer treatments are necessary.
  • Shrink Tumors: Surgeons can remove portions of a tumor and surrounding tissue first to get rid of as much of the cancer as possible before chemotherapy or radiation therapy is performed to treat remaining cancer cells.
  • Reconstruction: Surgeons can help restore form and function after a surgical procedure to remove cancerous tumors, such as after breast mastectomies and head and neck cancer surgery.

Mercy Hospital South has multiple options for surgical procedures to remove cancer, including traditional open and minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedures. Cancer specialists here also offer highly advanced procedures, including:

  • Cryosurgery — an advanced procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill cancer cells in targeted areas.
  • da Vinci® Robotic Surgery — Highly trained specialists utilize the da Vinci® Robotic Surgery system, a robotically assisted minimally invasive technology for the treatment of some cancers. The system offers high resolution images so that the surgeon can better see, and more precisely remove cancerous tissue. This technology has been shown to result in less pain and blood loss as well as shorter recovery times and better clinical outcomes for some types of cancer surgery, such as prostate cancer. The system also is used in a wide range of other minimally invasive urologic, abdominal and gynecological procedures, such as hysterectomies and nephrectomies.

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