The Prisma Health Cancer Institute provides the Upstate community with access to some of the country’s most highly skilled physicians and health care team members, along with the latest diagnostics, treatment and research options available. The Cancer Institute sees patients from all over the Southeast and beyond.
Medical oncology is the ongoing evaluation and management of cancer patients through the treatment of their malignancies with chemotherapy agents and other drugs.
The medical oncology team consists of medical oncologists, nurse practitioners, oncology nurses and other oncology-trained staff. This team plays a major role in a patient’s cancer care. They assist patients with side effects they may experience during chemotherapy treatments, offer medical guidance and help patients make decisions throughout their treatment.
The Cancer Institute employs 19 board-certified medical oncologists/hematologists with specialties in blood and marrow transplant, breast cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, neuro-oncology and melanoma/sarcoma.
Radiation oncology is the bombardment of tumors with radiation beams. These beams are effective at halting the growth of tumors or forcing them into remission. Many forms of radiation are available. The best choice depends on the type of cancer a patient has, the extent of the cancer and the cancer’s location. Different types of cancer react to radiation in different ways, so treatments vary.
The radiation oncologist specifies what is to be treated and for how long. This includes the amount of radiation a patient receives each day and the total number of treatment days.
A radiation therapist delivers the prescribed treatment and helps patients before, during and after treatment. The healthcare team also includes physicists, medical dosimetrists (specialists who use computers to help design treatment plans) and other trained staff members. Two of our physicists placed in the top three at the 2018 World Championships of Treatment Planning.
The Cancer Institute employs seven board-certified radiation oncologists.
Surgical oncology uses surgical methods to diagnose, stage and treat cancer, and to relieve certain cancer-related symptoms. The goal of surgery may be to remove the tumor, reconstruct a part of the body, and/or to relieve symptoms such as pain.
Prisma Health employs 26 board-certified and fellowship-trained surgical oncologists with specialties in breast, endocrine, head and neck, gastrointestinal, melanoma and sarcoma, neurology, orthopaedics and urology. Our surgeons’ emphasis on personalized and comprehensive cancer treatment has established Prisma Health Surgical Oncology as the region’s leading choice for cancer surgery and care, drawing patients from Greenville, Asheville, Columbia and other parts of the Southeast.
We recognize that every woman is unique. We have specialized physicians dedicated to serving women in the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of gynecological cancers. The Cancer Institute has three board-certified physician specialists and one advanced practice nurse specializing in gynecologic oncology. Their primary focus is the diagnosis and treatment management of reproductive cancers, including malignancies of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, vagina and vulva. Our physicians are experts in gynecologic oncology surgeries and in the administration and management of chemotherapy for gynecologic cancers.
Pediatric cancer care is provided through our BI-LO Charities Children’s Cancer Center, a 14-bed inpatient and outpatient unit with clinical, research and educational components. The center provides comprehensive cancer services to infants, children and young adults. As a member of the international Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the center provides patients with access to the latest clinical trials for all childhood cancers.
Our certified oncology nurses guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. They advocate for patients and provide education and psychosocial support around the clock.
A mid-level provider, sometimes referred to simply as a “mid-level”, is a clinical medical professional who provides patient care under the supervision of a physician. Mid-levels include nurse practitioners (NP), physician assistants (PA) and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA). Mid-level providers can examine patients, diagnose them and provide some treatments, all of which must be signed off by a supervising licensed physician.
The majority of our mid-level providers are nurse practitioners. A nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners provide a broad range of healthcare services. They provide some of the same care provided by physicians and maintain close working relationships with physicians. An NP can serve as a patient’s regular healthcare provider.
Nurse practitioners see patients of all ages. The core philosophy of the field is individualized care. Nurse practitioners focus on patients’ conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. NPs make prevention, wellness and patient education priorities. This can mean fewer prescriptions and less expensive treatments. Informing patients about their health care and encouraging them to participate in decisions are central to the care provided by NPs. In addition to healthcare services, NPs conduct research and are often active in patient advocacy activities.
All of our nurse practitioners have extensive experience in oncology ranging from stem cell transplants to clinical research. They all are certified oncology nurses.
“I realized there were only three risk factors I couldn’t change: my age, my sex and my family history. Now my body and my mind are much better prepared to deal with anything that comes up.”
-Ginny Cartee, breast cancer survivor,
CIOS and Cancer Support Community volunteer