We often think of pharmacists as the people behind the counter who dispense the medication we need, but this is only one part of the role of a pharmacist in cancer care. Pharmacists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center are now also part of each clinic, working day-to-day with your doctors and care team.
Eric Fearon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center talks about dramatic improvements in cancer treatment and what more is to come as the Cancer Center strives to improve the lives of people facing the disease.
Immunotherapy is a newer form of treatment that attacks cancer by boosting the body’s own immune system and ability to fight it. Clint Lavens comes to the Cancer Center every three weeks for infusion treatments at a special clinical area devoted to evaluating new cancer therapies, the Ravitz Foundation Center for Translational Research.
When Ron Diehl was diagnosed in 1999 with Ewing sarcoma, a rare cancer that mainly affects children and young adults, he wanted to speak to someone who survived the disease as a way to maintain hope that he could get better. A young man of 34, he had a wife and three young kids, as well as a family dairy farm to run in the small town of Lupton, Mich.
Many times throughout treatment, a patient's medications may need to be adjusted or changed. It can happen for a variety of reasons, such as unpleasant or intolerable side effects, how your body is responding to the medication or interactions with other medications you take.
One important challenge for cancer caregivers is providing the fuel their loved ones need to fight the disease. Maintaining weight can improve tolerance to treatment, speed up recovery time and possibly result in better outcomes.
Many of cancer patients travel to their appointments alone -- which can be overwhelming for many reasons. The U-M Cancer Center formed its patient navigator program to add a layer of support and enhance the patient care experience by assigning a dedicated person to help each patient throughout the treatment process.