By Erika Z. Byrd
"The earlier something is noticed, the more likely it may be cured," said Janet Ihde, MD, a surgical oncologist and medical director of women's health at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center.
Elber S. Camacho, MD, medical director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, echoed that: "Screening is so important. If we can catch the cancer before it gets to stage III or IV, the outcomes may be much better."
The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center has provided more than 25 years of compassionate service to people with cancer and their families. An outstanding multidisciplinary team of specialists provide cancer care from diagnosis, through treatment and follow up. The Comprehensive Cancer Center now is expanding services to include early detection programs to monitor those at higher risk for certain cancers.
Among the new programs is a surveillance clinic for "well women" who are at high risk for breast cancer, including those with a family history, those with a BRCA 1 or 2 gene mutation, or women who have presented with calcifications on mammograms. To foster early detection of lung disease, the Thoracic Oncology program now includes protocols for follow-up evaluation and monitoring of incidental lung nodules discovered during imaging tests. Medicare now covers low-dose CT scans for certain populations at higher risk for lung cancer, and this screening is available at the Comprehensive Cancer Center's Palm Springs location.
The Comprehensive Cancer Center recently completed a 2,000-square-foot expansion at its La Quinta satellite office. Following a steady increase in patients since opening in April 2011, the La Quinta location offers a tremendous convenience to mid and East Valley residents who can receive care closer to home.
"With the recruitment of additional physicians to serve the growing East Valley, now all our medical oncologists, surgical oncologists and our gynecologic oncologist, along with a breast imager, see patients at the La Quinta office," said Dr. Camacho. The La Quinta office also has a convenient on-site infusion center, an oncology pharmacy and a laboratory. Radiation treatment is provided at the main facility in Palm Springs.
Promoting the mission of early detection, the center's doctors regularly provide community educational talks. Several physicians were part of the hospital's new "Women Caring for Women" lecture series, which will continue this fall.
Comprehensive Cancer Center at Desert Regional Medical Center
• 1180 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Suite E218, Palm Springs, CA 92262
• 47647 Caleo Bay, Suite 260, La Quinta, CA 92253
760-416-4800 • www.desertregional.com/cancer