Specialized Care For Every Diagnosis
Each type of cancer requires a unique course of treatment. ThedaCare offers access to highly specialized cancer care experts and advanced treatment options to ensure each of our patients receive the individualized experience they need and deserve. No matter your diagnosis, we are committed to providing focused, informative and compassionate care throughout each phase of your journey.
The exact causes of brain cancer and brain tumors are unknown, but factors that may increase your risk include:
- Chemical exposure
- Family history
- Radiation exposure
Symptoms of brain cancer include:
- Changes in ability to talk, hear or see
- Difficulties with balance or walking
- Muscle jerking or twitching
- Nausea and vomiting
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Problems with thinking or memory
Note: Brain cancer symptoms can also resemble stroke symptoms. If you have a sudden medical event, such as a seizure, call 911 immediately.
Our experts use the most advanced imaging technology available, including CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). These tests produce detailed brain images to help us locate tumors. You may also have additional imaging and tests to determine if cancer has spread to other parts of your body. Biopsy, which surgically removes a small piece of the tumor for testing by our pathologist, determines if the tumor is cancerous or not.
When diagnosed early, the most common treatment for a brain tumor is surgery. In some cases, our neurosurgeons can remove the entire tumor during the biopsy. Depending on your condition, you may require radiation, chemotherapy or targeted therapy — alone or in combination — after surgery.
If the tumor is too advanced, large or located in a part of the brain that makes surgery too risky, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may shrink the tumor to allow surgery or eliminate it entirely.
Anyone can get colorectal cancer, but those at highest risk include people over 50, African Americans, men, and those with:
- A history of colorectal polyps, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- A diet high in processed meats or alcohol
- A history of smoking
People with colorectal cancer often don’t have symptoms right away. By the time symptoms start, the cancer may have grown or spread to other organs and become difficult to treat, which is why routine screenings are so important. Symptoms may include:
- A change in bowel habits
- Blood in stool
- Constant tiredness
- Ongoing gas, bloating, fullness or cramps
- Unexplained weight loss
The presence of colorectal cancer may be detected in a routine screening test, such as a colonoscopy. Any growths or areas of concern may then be removed through a biopsy (endoscopic, needle or surgical) to be tested for cancerous cells.
While the goal of treatment is to cure the cancer, it can also be used to shrink or keep the cancer under control for as long as possible – or improve quality of life – if a cure isn’t possible. Treatment options include:
Gynecological cancers affect the female reproductive system. The most common types include:
Risk factors vary by type of cancer, but typically increase as a result of age, obesity and level of physical activity.
Symptoms also vary by type, but the following are common across the board:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Pain during urination and/or intercourse
- Pelvic or abdominal pain and pressure
One or more of the following tests may be administered to diagnose gynecological cancers:
- Pelvic exam
- Pap and HPV tests
Skin cancer risk factors include:
- Fair skin, light-colored hair or light-colored eyes
- Many moles or abnormal moles on your skin
- History of sunburns from sunlight or tanning beds
- Family history of skin cancer
- Repeated exposure to radiation or chemicals
- Weakened immune system
- Previous skin cancer
You should examine your skin monthly in front of a full-length mirror to check for the presence of new or changing moles or lesions, including your arms, buttocks and genitals, feet, hands, head, legs and torso.
A dermatologist can help to diagnose your skin condition, examining the mole or lesion, and if necessary, taking a sample for biopsy. This is usually a minimally invasive procedure performed in the doctor’s office. It may take a few days to receive results.
Risk factors for thyroid cancer include:
- Female to male ratio of 3:1
- Occurs at any age, but usually earlier for women (40s) than for men (60s)
- History of radiation exposure
- Iodine deficiency
- Family history of thyroid cancer
Most patients with thyroid cancer do not have symptoms, but if present, the most common symptoms of thyroid cancer include:
- A lump or swelling over your thyroid or somewhere else in your neck
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Swollen neck
- Trouble swallowing
- Trouble breathing
- Neck pain, especially in the front of your neck
- Hoarseness or other changes in your voice that are persistent
Your health care provider will complete a physical exam and may suggest one or more of the following tests:
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests
Symptoms vary based on type of cancer, but often include:
- Blood in the urine
- Back or pelvic pain
- Skin changes or swelling
If your health care provider suspects urologic cancer, they may perform one or more of the following tests:
- Cytoscopy or ureteroscopy
- Lab tests
- Imaging studies, such as an MRI, X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
Support to Stay Well
A cancer diagnosis can make you feel as if your world has been turned upside down. We understand that this news can affect every part of your life, and we want your care plan to extend beyond your physical health. From nutrition to meditation, education, counseling, survivorship programs and more, ThedaCare is here to support you and your loved ones as you work toward recovery.