New Cancer Banner 2 2016

TomoTherapy at East Jefferson General Hospital

With the addition of TomoTherapy, East Jefferson General Hospital is the only cancer center in our region addressing the two primary challenges physicians face when using radiation therapy to fight cancer:

  • Making sure the beam is reaching the tumor as planned
  • Minimizing harm to healthy tissue around the tumor

With it’s patented 360º delivery, TomoTherapy’s linear accelerator (linac) delivers treatment continuously from all angles around the patient. More beam directions give physicians greater control in how to plan treatments and more assurance the dose will be confined to the tumor. This maximizes treatment and reduces the risk of short, and long-term, side effects.

Thousands of Targeted Beamlets

The TomoTherapy treatment system uses a patented multi-leaf collimator (MLC) that divides the radiation beam into beamlets, all aimed at the tumor. Typically, tens of thousands of beamlets are used in a single TomoTherapy treatment session. Powerful software optimizes the contribution of each one to the total tumor dose, minimizing exposure to healthy tissue.

CTrue™ image guidance for every patient, every day™.

TomoTherapy’s unique ring gantry design facilitates a 360º delivery pattern. Perhaps even more importantly, it integrates true CT imaging that can be used on a daily basis to guide the accurate delivery of each treatment session. No other radiation therapy system offers this seamless integration of image-guided and intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

Living Well Beyond Cancer

Survivorship is our only goal at EJGH. Once you are diagnosed with cancer, every single interaction you will have with us is built around that singular goal. Upon completion of your treatment, we will even celebrate with a ceremony where you will ring our survivorship bell. This is a powerful and meaningful moment as it signifies you truly winning the fight of your life. At that time you will transition into our formal survivorship program.

The mission of the survivorship program is to maximize your quality of life while minimizing your risk for new or recurring cancers. Working together, your care team will provide:

The Bell is Just a Beginning

To celebrate the milestones along your cancer journey such as completion of infusion treatments or radiation therapy, our patients participate in a bell ringing ceremony. Caregivers gather around the bell and read the survivorship poem and you, a proud cancer survivor, are then asked to ring the bell. The sound of that bell is the sound of victory and life for you. For others, receiving treatment for their cancers, it is the sound of hope and inspiration. For the Cancer Survivorship Program at EJGH, the bell is just the beginning – the beginning of your life after cancer.

Live Well with Cancer

Live Well with Cancer is a disease management program built around YOU. This program takes place at the EJGH Wellness Center and is designed to fit your needs at every phase of your cancer journey, providing safe and effective exercise training, support groups and therapies for the mind, body and soul. Click here to learn more.

Support Groups and Services

Our survivorship program includes support from other survivors in its wide array of programs to assist you in your quest for optimal health. There is a very real sense of camaraderie among those who have battled cancer and won. Attending a support group is a great way for you to meet with others who have been where you are and where you are going. Click here to register for upcoming support groups or call Healthfinder at 504-456-5000 for more information.

Integrative or Complementary Therapies

East Jefferson General Hospital offers a wide range of therapies that can be beneficial, even enjoyable, long after you have completed your treatments. Therapeutic massage, yoga, guided imagery and other therapies have proven effective at helping you stay well. Call one of our Cancer Care Navigators at 504-503-6000 for more information.

If you have any questions about the Cancer Survivorship Program at EJGH or would like more information, please call 504-883-2968.

The second opinion has become a staple of medical care. In fact, today the practice is used in many fields but nowhere is it more associated with quality than in the healthcare industry. This practice led to many forward thinking hospitals adopting Tumor Board or Cancer Team approaches that allowed multiple doctors to reach a consensus before moving forward with a course of treatment. As part of our affiliate relationship with MD Anderson, East Jefferson General Hospital has installed a video conferencing system. This system's purpose is to allow EJGH physicians to hold regularly scheduled meetings, with EJGH doctors on one side of the connection and MD Anderson physicians on the other. These meetings will allow MD Anderson physicians and EJGH physicians to agree on a patient's best possible course of treatment. The high-quality imaging available through this system allows doctors from each location to view scans and reports so that each participating physician can give an informed opinion based upon the greatest possible amount of data. With this system, which MD Anderson has successfully used with its affiliates for some time, the patient gets the benefit of multiple views.

The Home of Survivorship

As part of our ongoing efforts to continually improve the oncology services we provide, we were proud to open our expanded and completely renovated East Jefferson General Hospital Regional Cancer Center at the Yenni Pavilion in the spring of 2014. Made possible through a $3 million capital campaign donation by The Foundation at EJGH, this state-of-the-art facility houses our radiation therapy program, oncology physician clinics and chemotherapy infusion. It is now a complete and convenient home for outpatient oncology services with available parking right outside the front door. The Regional Cancer Center is located on the campus of EJGH in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie but serves a region that stretches across the southern half of both Mississippi and Louisiana.

Technology has always been a vital piece of our EJGH cancer fighting abilities. We believe in arming our physicians with the latest technology so that they can develop a treatment plan designed specifically for each patient and their particular cancer. With tools such as Trilogy Stereotactic System, Novalis Tx and PET Fusion available on the first floor and other technologies throughout the hospital such 3D mammography, UroNav and the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, our team of experts are equipped to diagnose and kill even the most complex cancers. And, because we have physician offices in the EJGH Regional Cancer Center, most outpatient visits and treatments are conveniently available in the same building.

Outpatient Infusion Center

The centerpiece of the expansion is the new Outpatient Infusion Center that encompasses the third floor addition. The facility houses 22 infusion stations, each complete with its own nursing station, with a semi-private recliner area for the patient and a family member. In addition, there are now seven private rooms for patients who require extra attention, the Henry and Pat Shane Resource Library, the Ralph and Christy Senner Serenity Room and a Fast Track area to serve patients more efficiently and quickly.

Located in the infusion Center is a "Survivor's Bell" which is rung by cancer patients who have completed their treatment path. When the patient rings the bell, our cancer care team gathers around to celebrate alongside the patient. A poem of survivorship is read aloud and a tremendous wave of joy is always evident. The clear tone of the bell is truly heard by all those in attendance to be the sound of victory over cancer.

The 3rd floor also contains our relaxation rooms and space for our integrative therapies such as massage, guided imagery and other more holistic treatments designed to complement your more traditional treatments.

By combining physicians with the knowledge to heal with advanced technologies and facilities built to promote the healing process, EJGH once again is setting the pace for other cancer programs to follow. It is also more reason why EJGH is making it great, every day.

Teri D'Gerolamo

"I took control over breast cancer, and I am glad I did."

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Teri has lost both her mother and her sister to breast cancer. She has taken control and wants others to do the same. She urges women to know their risks, be proactive and seek the very best and innovative care. At EJGH, credentialed members of the MD Anderson Cancer Network consult with MD Anderson Physicians in Houston to determine the best possible course of treatment for their patients. That affiliation is important...

As a nurse for more than twenty years, Teri D'Gerolamo has learned how to help patients and their families prepare for the worst that disease can offer. She has seen how optimism and fortitude can help patients win their fight, and she has sat at their sides providing comfort when the disease has taken the upper hand. But nothing could prepare her for the loss of both her mother and her sister to breast cancer. Teri and her family carry the gene identified as BRCA1.

BRCA1 and BRCA 2 are genes that have been linked to the hereditary carrying of breast and ovarian cancer. A simple genetic test can confirm whether your family carries BRCA 1 or 2. Some may not want to know if they have a gene that puts them at risk for certain cancers. Teri makes a strong argument against that stand, "Knowing helps you make so many decisions regarding prevention, screenings and awareness." In Teri's case, awareness led to the decision to have preventive prophylactic surgery. That is a decision she has not regretted once. "I am no longer in fear of breast cancer, I have removed that fear from my life. I promised my sister that I would do all I could to help others become aware of breast cancer, BRCA and the fact that each of us must take control of our own health." Today, Teri belongs to a small but growing number of people the American Cancer Society has named "pre-vivors". She realizes not everyone will undergo genetic testing and certainly understands that many who have the gene will not take the steps she has taken. But she does want everyone to know that they can take control of their cancer journey and not let the disease control them.

Billy Daunoy

"Today, I consider myself a survivor."

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Billy's cancer fighting physicians are members of the MD Anderson Cancer Network. That gives them access to direct consultation with physicians at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston along with the latest treatment pathways developed there as well. In our region, only credentialed EJGH physicians have that access. Those doctors working together is important because...

When he was diagnosed with esophagel cancer, Billy Daunoy had only been on his new job at Jesuit High School a few months. He was stunned when the school responded by telling him that they would stand behind him throughout his ordeal. They immediately brought in another worker to work alongside Billy explaining that when anything became too much to handle, now he had an extra set of hands. A long-time heating and air-conditioning repair man, Billy has always been strong and active. To undergo cancer treatment meant entering a world of new terminologies, physicians and even worse, fatigue. But as each stage of treatment passed, he could see that victory was possible.

Billy had known that others when they were diagnosed in the past had traveled to Houston for treatment. That was not something that appealed to him. The time away from his support team, the expense and just being in a strange setting would have all made treatment more difficult for Billy. "I didn't know I could get top care right here, but I did." He went on to add, "I got all my treatments and support right here at East Jefferson, and I am glad I did."

Now, Billy considers himself to be a survivor. He credits much of his recovery to the support he enjoyed from his family, friends and of course his employer. "Everyone here has been so good to me. I didn't know how to react when I first got diagnosed but everything worked out just fine." In fact, the only problem he faces now is that his son played football at Rummel. "I gotta bet against him now when the two play."

Cheryl Mathis

"With EJGH and MD Anderson, I had a plan, and I won."

Cheryl's battle with leukemia involved treatments both in Houston and in Metairie. But from the start, she was confident. "My doctors had a specific plan, and once we had that plan, even when things weren't going well, I was confident we would win." As an affiliate of MD Anderson Cancer Network, credentialed EJGH physicians can consult with leading cancer fighters in Houston. They also gain access to MD Anderson treatment pathways. Working together, we are creating new survivors like Cheryl. That teamwork is important...

Always athletic and active, Cheryl Mathis had always been a picture of health. Even though she had a family history of cancer, her own eating, exercising and lifestyle habits had led her to believe she would be one of the lucky ones who would not have to face that dire day when they learned they had cancer. A persistent sinus infection and fever blisters were the only warning signs that anything was wrong. Unable to shake these symptoms after a few days, Cheryl went to the doctor for what she was sure would be a routine visit to get rid of an ongoing infection. When her doctor called her and told her to come in and bring her husband Bob with her, she suspected this was no ordinary infection. "Sweety, you have leukemia." was what her doctor told her. Cheryl was stunned.

Within the week, Bob and Cheryl were in Houston at MD Anderson Cancer Center undergoing treatment. They lived there for three months. Cheryl endured one solid year of chemotherapy and other treatments. On at least one occasion, Bob was fearful that she was going to lose her fight. But throughout, Cheryl maintained a strong fighting spirit. To make matters worse, during one trip to Houston, Bob's best friend was only a couple of floors above Cheryl. He was losing his cancer fight and had undergone the very treatment the doctors were now recommending for Cheryl. Much soul searching went into their decision to continue treatment.

Once treatment resumed, there were still many days that tested the Mathis' faith in their treatment plan but they held steadfast in their commitment to the process, their physicians and their own strength. Cheryl says she took strength in having a plan, "My doctors at EJ and MD Anderson gave me a plan and as long as I had a plan, I knew I could win, and I did."

Today, Cheryl is a survivor. She has taken the worst that cancer can offer and emerged on the other side with her full quality of life intact. Her husband was so moved by the quality of care he saw Cheryl receive that Bob agreed in late 2010 to join the Capital Cabinet for East Jefferson General Hospital's new campaign to raise funds to help EJGH expand and modernize our infusion center. In this volunteer role, Bob has agreed to spread the word about the high qualities of compassion and care that he saw on display throughout his wife's cancer battle. For anyone lucky enough to have met them, Bob and Cheryl Mathis are a constant and wonderful example that love and strength can be powerful weapons when taking on the worst ordeals of our lives. They also embody the words around which our cancer campaign is built...no one fights cancer alone.

Ed Bellevue

"When you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, your first thought is survival."

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Ed's doctors at EJGH are all members of the MD Anderson Cancer Network. Through a wide variety of effective treatments, they are setting new standards in prostate outcomes for our region. Through affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Network, Ed's credentialed EJGH cancer fighting doctors are giving new hope to prostate cancer patients in our region.

Dr. Frank Rabito

When I refer a patient to another specialist, I take that handoff very seriously. When I refer one of my patients to a credentialed member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network at East Jefferson General Hospital, I know that patient is in great hands. That affiliation gives me and my patients tremendous peace of mind.

Dr. Sean Collins

When I first arrived at East Jefferson General Hospital, there were still blue tarp roofs throughout the community from Hurricane Katrina. Believe me, more than one friend asked if I was crazy leaving Columbia University Hospital in New York City for a suburban hospital that was dealing with hurricane recovery.

But I knew the commitment EJGH had made to being the best center in the region for the treatment of prostate cancer. This report along with our detailed reports from MD Anderson show that we are generating results that indicate that we have met, and surpassed, our original goals of excellence.

Dr. Kathleen Sullivan, OB/GYN

"My relationship with my patients means everything to me."

When one of my patients has questions or is diagnosed with cancer, I like knowing there are credentialed MD Anderson Cancer Network Doctors right here at EJ. That means they can usually stay here close to home throughout treatment and that can give them incredible peace of mind.

Dr. Stephen Champlin, OB/GYN

As an OB/GYN, I have a life-long relationship with my patients. I need to know when I refer them to another specialist that they are in good hands. Knowing that we have nearly 50 doctors at EJ who are credentialed members of the MD Anderson Cancer Network gives me tremendous confidence in knowing my patients will receive the best care possible. I have referred to these doctors in the past and I have seen them create new survivors. That gives new hope to everyone who comes after them. And nothing is more vital to a cancer fighter than hope.

Dr. Paul Monsour, Radiation Oncologist

As a physician who deals with cancer daily, I see the extraordinary amounts of fear and anxiety my patients encounter once they hear their diagnosis. Giving them access to our cancer report is one way of reassuring them regarding the quality of the hospital they have chosen for their care.

A report like this is important in giving our patients peace of mind and giving all of us a standard that we must strive to improve upon every day. As our success in fighting cancers has grown over the past few years, so has our reputation. Today, I would match the technologies, physicians and resources available at EJGH against any in the region. One example of our commitment is the combination of Novalis TX and Trilogy Stereotactic Cancer Fighting Systems. At this time, EJGH is one of only six hospitals in the nation with both of these systems. Not only does that illustrate our commitment to fighting cancer, it gives us the best weapons available against cancers of the brain and spine.

Desmond Sturges, Patient Tansporter

My job is to help get patients from one area of treatment to another. I get to engage them and know them when they are often very sick and very scared. It's amazing how many of them take the time to tell me how great their care is and how kind everyone is. I know our affiliation with MD Anderson Cancer Network is built around select doctors but I love knowing I am on the team that supports those doctors every day in creating new cancer survivors.

Renell Sherman, Environmental Services

"Your comfort is my highest priority."

"My job is to make sure your hospital stay is as clean and comfortable as possible. People may think of healthcare as being about doctors and nurses but there are hundreds of us who dedicate ourselves every day to helping you get better as soon as possible."

At East Jefferson General Hospital, select physicians are members of the MD Anderson Cancer Network. Those doctors rely on team members, like Renell, to make sure your comfort matches the level of care you receive.

Cheryl Fourcade, Community Programs Coordinator, American Cancer Society

As the liaison between East Jefferson General Hospital and the MD Anderson Cancer Network, my job is to help EJGH maximize our affiliate relationship so it can benefit the cancer patients of this region. Maximizing those efforts begins with the EJGH commitment to excellence. MD Anderson has been ranked as the nation's leading cancer fighting center. We do not add on affiliates without a great deal of scrutiny. We demand excellence every day but more importantly, we demand that our affiliates strive for constant improvement.

The MD Anderson mission statement is simple. We want to eradicate cancer in Texas, the United States and the world. Affiliation with hospitals such as EJGH is one way we can help our excellence extend beyond Texas and into this region. EJGH physicians who are credentialed members of the MD Anderson Cancer Network gain access to MDAPN treatment protocols. They also regularly confer with MDAPN doctors via video conferencing. The goal of affiliation is to give EJGH physicians the tools needed to assist in creating more survivors every day.

This report confirms that EJGH is a truly exceptional regional cancer center. We are proud to name EJGH as an affiliate and expect continued growth and excellence as our relationship continues.

 

MD Anderson Cancer Network

To find a physician member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network, call HealthFinder at (504) 456-5000.


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