Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute
At Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute, the emphasis is on education and guiding patients through their cancer treatment and beyond. The center offers personalized services to help patients maintain daily living skills through occupational, physical and speech-language therapy as well as nutritional counseling with oncology-certified dietitians who work to maintain optimal nutrition throughout treatment and after. The center even offers a dedicated nurse navigator who coordinates patient care and is available for questions and emotional support. The Survivorship program offers care for as long as a patient needs it.
Nutrition can play a huge role in cancer treatment. At the Gibbs Center, Spartanburg’s only oncology-certified dietitians provide education and guidance to help minimize the side effects of cancer and treatment. For example, they may recommend foods that lessen nausea or diarrhea and help shed light on which diets to trust and which information found online is reliable.
Many patients have unique nutritional requirements, and the oncology-certified dietitians make regular rounds because they know certain cancers, including head and neck, colon and rectal cancers, are likely to create unique problems that require special nutritional assistance.
The American Cancer Society estimates 2,600 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in South Carolina this year. Half of these new diagnoses will be for women who are 61 or younger.
Every woman is at risk for breast cancer, and the risk increases with age. According to the American College of Radiology, women with no symptoms of breast cancer should have a screening mammogram every year starting at age 40.
Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute encourages women to perform monthly self-exams and to see their doctor once a year for a clinical breast exam.
Getting a second opinion can be a huge deal. Gibbs Cancer & Research Institute encourages patients to get a second opinion to make sure they have access to as much information as possible.
The center offers a formalized second opinion clinic, where a team of cancer specialists and other medical professionals review and evaluate a patient’s treatment plan, at times recommending additional tests or new treatments not previously considered.
For more information, visit www.spartanburgregional.com/care-treatment/cancer.
Prisma Health Children’s Hospital
From camps for kids to facility dogs and everything in between, Prisma Health Children’s Hospital does everything it can to serve kids in and out of the hospital. Located in Upstate South Carolina, the hospital’s board-certified physicians care for more than 400,000 infants, children and adolescents each year. There’s even a Children’s Emergency Care Center that cares for children who have a serious illness or injury but cannot wait to be seen by their regular doctor – or have been referred by their doctor for an emergent condition. The facility, for children up to the age of 17, is staffed by pediatric emergency trained physicians, nurses, technicians and child life specialists. The Children’s Emergency Care Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Among the many programs offered by Prisma is Camp Courage, a recreational and educational experience founded in 1994 for children and families living with cancer or blood disorders. The aim of the camp is to support the psychosocial well-being of children, teens, and young adults living with cancer and blood disorders, as well as their families by providing opportunities for peer support, coping during times of crisis, teamwork and gaining self-esteem.
The camp offers week-long sessions for children ages 5 to 12 and adolescents and a weekend session for siblings ages 7 to 17. They enjoy activities such as swimming, archery, fishing, drama and kayaking, with special activities such as hot air balloon rides, dances and opportunities to participate in a beauty shop.
The camp culminates in a fall carnival for parents and families while also offering a leaders-in-training program for adolescents and young adults who wish to become camp counselors.
For more information, visit www.palmettohealthchildrens.org.
St. Francis Cancer Center
At St. Francis Cancer Center, the services and treatment patients need are all under one roof – from a pharmacy that is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays to soothing nature views from the infusion room. At St. Francis, everything has been created with the well-being of the patient in mind. Partitions even slide back in the infusion room to encourage connection and conversation with other patients.
Everything being in closer proximity enhances communication among oncologists, nurse navigators, clinical trial coordinators and support professionals, serving patients in a much more fluid manner.
The center also offers support groups, individual psychotherapy, marriage and family and community-based support, which all play a role in illustrating the philosophy of St. Francis as a place that cares about the well-being of the patient.
St. Francis offers yoga classes for cancer survivors. A certified instructor helps patients learn breathing and relaxation techniques to calm the body and mind along with basic poses that help with flexibility and stamina. These classes are available for patients of all levels, and the instructor even guides patients who need extra help. These classes are available a few times per month and go a long way toward helping cancer survivors continue their treatment beyond traditional methods.
St. Francis also offers an event called “Well Walkers” a few times per month in the temperature-controlled Bon Secours Wellness Arena to help people get in shape by walking around the quarter-mile track anytime between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on scheduled days. Certified athletic trainers from St. Francis Sports Medicine are on hand, along with other health professionals.
For more information, visit www.stfranciscancercenter.org.
By James Carter