Treatment

Cancer expertise, comprehensive treatment

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, the Regional Center for Cancer Care, a program of both Lancaster Regional and Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Centers and an affiliate of the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute,  offers expert care. We provide a range of cancer treatment options that are tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs. Doctors plan treatment by consulting with surgeons and chemotherapy and radiation specialists to develop the most effective approach. In most cases, several treatment options are combined to provide the most comprehensive treatment. The Regional Center for Cancer Care provides all levels of care, including inpatient, outpatient, hospice and home care services.

Part of the Regional Center for Cancer Care's full-spectrum care includes special support services to address the unique needs of cancer patients and their families. Our multidisciplinary cancer care team includes primary care doctors, oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, nurses, pain management specialists, dieticians and other professionals who work together to provide individualized care. 

Surgery

The Regional Center for Cancer Care's teams carefully evaluate each patient’s needs to determine whether surgery offers the best chance for success. Oncological surgeons affiliated with the Regional Center for Cancer Care offer expert, advanced surgical removal of cancers associated with the:

  • Esophagus, head, neck and oral cavity
  • Pancreas
  • Chest and lungs
  • Liver
  • Bone
  • Breast

Some of these surgeries can be performed with our minimally invasive daVinci® system. In fact, Lancaster Regional Medical Center was the first hospital to introduce this robotic assisted surgical technology to Lancaster County in 2005! Learn more at LancasterRegionalRobotics.com.

Radiation Oncology: at our Keystone Cancer Center we offer:

Chemotherapy

Also known as medical oncology or hematology, chemotherapy uses chemicals to destroy or slow the growth of cancer cells. Surgeons often use chemotherapy in conjunction with surgery to destroy surrounding tissue after a tumor is removed.

Hormone therapy

Hormones can kill cancer cells, or slow or stop their growth. Doctors can prescribe medications that affect the activity or production of hormones, or may surgically remove a gland that produces hormones.

Radiation therapy

Lancaster Regional offers state-of-the-art equipment and techniques that allow radiation oncologists to precisely target radiation to destroy cancer cells and minimize damage to healthy, surrounding tissue. Doctors utilize a range of sophisticated techniques to fit the needs of each patient, including:

  • Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) – Utilizes computer technology to create a 3-D image of the tumor so radiation beams can be focused precisely on the treatment area.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – IMRT further refines 3D-CRT capability by allowing the radiologist to customize the dose of radiation to the size and shape of the tumor, and restrict exposure to healthy tissue. This method is used to treat tumors that are close to vital organs or structures, such as the spinal cord, brain or liver.
  • Brachytherapy – Small catheters (thin, flexible tubes) are used to administer high doses of radioactive sources directly into cancerous tissue. Brachytherapy can deliver a higher total dose of radiation over a shorter period of time than external-beam techniques. This method is often used to treat prostate, breast, cervical and lung cancer.
  • Radiosurgery – Also known as stereotactic radiosurgery, this non-invasive technique uses focused beams of radiation to treat cancerous tissues without a surgical opening. It is called "surgery" because offers a similar result as actual surgery.

Respiratory gating

Mostly used in patients with lung cancer, makes it possible to track movement of a patient’s chest as he/she breathes, using an infrared camera and a special marker. Breathing can be monitored with CT scans for treatment planning as well as during treatment sessions. This allows doctors to select the optimum moment in a patient’s breathing cycle to administer the radiation. As a result, the area around the tumor exposed to radiation can be reduced and the total dosage increased without harming surrounding healthy tissue. Respiratory gating may also be helpful in treating tumors of the left breast, which partly covers the heart. Upper abdominal cancers (pancreatic, stomach and liver tumors, which also move as patients breathe) can be treated with respiratory gating. With these cancers, traditional techniques required large radiation fields and, in combination with chemotherapy, led to significant complication rates. Respiratory gating allows for more normal tissue to be spared, allowing for increased doses and fewer complications.

Cryotherapy 

The local or general use of very low temperatures to destroy cancer cells in the body.

Immunotherapy

Involves inducing, enhancing or suppressing an immune response. For cancer patients, the goal is to stimulate the immune system to reject and destroy tumors. Pre-operative embolization involves blocking certain blood vessels to prevent and/or restrict excess blood flow during the surgical removal of a tumor, primarily used to reduce the risk of hemorrhage.

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