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Count on RCCA’s Expert Hematology Care for Cancerous and Non-Cancerous Blood Disorders

Our fellowship-trained hematologists have the knowledge, compassion and the extensive experience to diagnose and help you manage cancers of the blood and blood-forming tissues. We also treat non-cancerous hematologic conditions, such as various types of anemia, the thalassemias, von Willebrand disease, polycythemia vera, and other disorders of clotting in adult patients.

What is a hematologic condition? And how can you recognize it?

A hematologic issue is a problem with the blood, and it can affect your overall health. Hematologic problems can occur in the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, blood vessels, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, and the proteins involved in bleeding and clotting (hemostasis and thrombosis).

Some symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent headaches
  • Recurrent fever and infections
  • Abnormal bleeding and bruising
  • Excessive blood clotting

Cancers of the blood and blood-forming tissues

Our hematologists treat a range of cancerous conditions, including:

  • Multiple types of leukemia
  • Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes/myeloproliferative neoplasms 

Non-cancerous hematologic conditions

We also treat and help patients manage these and other non-cancerous disorders of the blood and blood-forming tissues:

  • Anemia, Fanconi anemia and pernicious anemia
  • Aplastic
  • Hemophilia
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Thalassemias
  • Von Willebrand disease

RCCA hematologists also participate in numerous clinical trials; giving many patients access to the latest therapies and treatment strategies. And because managing your condition can require ongoing, even lifelong care, RCCA is where you need us to be, with more than 30 locations throughout New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.

Stem-Cell Transplantation: An Important Step in Cancer Care

Blood-forming cells are essential to our health. These special cells are found in the body’s bone marrow. They grow into the following types of vital blood cells:

  • White blood cells. These cells are part of your immune system and help your body fight infection.
  • Red blood cells. These carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • Platelets. These are blood cells that help your blood clot.

Some cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, can damage the body’s blood-forming cells. For some patients, doctors have developed a way to inject or transplant new cells to repair the damage.

The new, transplanted cells are called “stem cells.” Once injected into your bloodstream, these stem cells travel to the bone marrow. They take the place of the cells that were destroyed by treatment.

Stem-cell transplantation usually does not work against cancer directly. Instead, it can help you produce new blood-forming cells after radiation or chemotherapy treatments. However, in some patients with leukemia or multiple myeloma, stem-cell transplantation can directly affect the cancer.

In today’s medicine, stem-cell transplantation is most often used to fight leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma. However, scientists believe stem cells have a bright future as a treatment for several other types of cancer. Major research projects are ongoing into stem-cell transplantation as an expanded treatment option.

Stem-cell transplantation can cause a number of side effects, including bleeding and lung problems. Your immune system also may be weak for a month or two, or even longer. Your risk of infection from bacteria and viruses may increase. As a result, you may have to limit your exposure to many things, including flowers, plants, fruit, vegetables, soil and even pets.

Regional Cancer Care Associates — Advanced cancer care close to home

If you’re seeking advanced cancer care such as stem cell transplants, look to Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA). And you won’t need to look far, because RCCA has so many locations that one of them is likely to be close to your home. At RCCA, we deliver the latest care along with the support, education and personal attention you need. Our highly trained and compassionate cancer staff is dedicated to your optimal health.

To schedule an appointment, just call the RCCA location nearest you. You can also get more information or schedule an appointment by calling (844) 346-7222.

Making a Difference for Hospital Patients

At Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA), we’re dedicated to helping every patient who is directly under our care. We’re known for delivering high quality care, close to home.

At the same time, we believe it’s important to share our extensive knowledge and expertise with the wider community of patients and physicians. That’s why we spend time consulting with many of the doctors at the hospitals we’re connected to. We’re brought in because of our experience and specialized knowledge, and we assist with many difficult cancer cases.

Consulting on blood disorders

Cancer is a main focus for everyone at RCCA—however, many of our physicians are also board-certified blood disease specialists (also known as “hematologists”). This blood disease specialty is extremely important in hospitals because hospital patients can develop a variety of blood-related disorders. These conditions include:

  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Anemia
  • Low white blood counts
  • Reduced platelet counts

These conditions in turn can cause symptoms ranging from excessive bleeding to potentially life-threatening infections. Critically ill hospital patients are especially at risk.

RCCA understands how valuable our knowledge of blood diseases can be for these patients. In such cases, the disorder needs to be quickly identified, accurately diagnosed and treated with the most effective therapies modern medicine has to offer.

The doctors of RCCA help our physician and hospital partners deliver the highest level of care when patients have challenging blood disorders. Many of our specialists are trained in both hematology and cancer care. When we consult with our fellow physicians and hospital teams, we often play an essential role. The result is healthier patients and improved overall outcomes.

Helping coordinate patient care

Some hospital patients need many types of treatment, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and treatment for blood disorders. RCCA also helps coordinate care for many of these patients. We make sure these patients get exactly the treatment they need, exactly when they need it. RCCA doctors and our staff members know that helping coordinate care is vital to both hospital inpatients and outpatients.

Regional Cancer Care Associates — A high level of expertise

Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) physicians are respected by their peers and trusted by our patients. Our doctors work with physician partners in several states to ensure patients get top-quality, state-of-the-art treatment. At RCCA, we’re here, close to your home, offering you a nationally-recognized level of cancer care.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact us at (844) 346-7222. You can also visit us online to schedule an appointment at the RCCA location nearest you.

RCCA Pharmacy Provides the Cancer Medication You Need — When You Need It

As a service to our patients, we offer the convenience of a pharmacy for certain oral medications to treat their cancer.

Medications dispensed through the RCCA pharmacy are covered by insurance and co-payments are processed in the same way as they would be at a specialty pharmacy. Medications will be mailed to you in a timely and secure manner.

Our Pharmacy Technicians will assist you in an effort to identify alternative funding resources and pharmaceutical company assistance.

Your insurance company may require the prescription be sent out to another specialty pharmacy. In this circumstance, we will notify you, and forward the prescription to the identified specialty pharmacy.

Download the Pharmacy Welcome Packet

Complete pharmacy services and support

The oral drugs your RCCA physician recommends for treatment are prepared and provided by RCCA’s nationally certified oncology-pharmacy technicians. We can also coordinate the prescription being filled by the specialty pharmacy of your choice. (Non-oral and some oral medications may need to be dispensed by other specialty pharmacies.)

Our team strives to take the worry, and the runaround, out of securing your oral medications in a number of ways:

  • We work closely with your RCCA physician to coordinate your medications
  • RCCA contacts your insurance company to determine prior authorization requirements
  • Medication will be mailed to you in a timely and secure manner at no additional cost
  • We will inform you of your co-pay amount right away. If you are unable to cover the co-pay, RCCA will work on your behalf to secure co-pay and/or pharmaceutical company patient assistance
  • An RCCA pharmacist will call you to review medication instructions and offer tips to help manage side effects
  • Your medication renewals will be automatically refilled upon approval by your RCCA physician

Specialized expertise you can trust

When it comes to understanding chemotherapy medications, interactions, and what to expect and watch for, RCCA’s oncology-specific pharmacy technicians lead the way. We’re here to answer all your questions; making sure you have the medication, information and help you need. Our pharmacy professionals are extremely dedicated, caring and professional. They are nationally recertified as oncology-pharmacy technicians every two years.

You can rest assured that your chemotherapy treatment has been planned, prepared and dispensed with skill and precision. Our oncology pharmacists and technicians are dedicated to ensuring the accuracy, safety and effectiveness of your medications.

Note: You are not obligated to have your prescriptions filled through the RCCA pharmacy and may receive your medications from a specialty pharmacy of your choice.

REGIONAL CANCER CARE ASSOCIATES PHARMACY

Brier Hill Court
K2 Building
East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Hours: Monday thru Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm
Phone: 844-683-6443
Fax: 732-390-0350

State of NJ Board of Pharmacy License No. 28RS00734200

Integrative Care Attacks Cancer Through a Multifaceted Approach

Battling cancer takes its toll on the body and the mind, putting the patient and his or her caregivers through what can seem like insurmountable challenges. The cancer specialists at RCCA work tirelessly to provide every possible means of treatment and support to help you overcome those challenges and stay determined to beat cancer.

Through integrative care, our doctors, nurses and specialists offer treatment options designed to ease the physical and psychological burdens of cancer care, and ultimately maximize your outcome.

Integrative care involves combining medical treatments for cancer with therapies to help combat the symptoms and side effects.

Medical treatments include:

Our integration of ancillary and supportive therapies can help you cope with pain, fatigue, anxiety and other side effects of cancer and its treatment. These therapies do not treat cancer, but your doctor may recommend them along with medical treatments.

Supportive therapies include:

  • Physical activity – Activity and exercise are fundamental to good health… and have been shown through research to help cancer patients improve physical function and quality of life.
  • Yoga – Through gentle, therapeutic stretching, poses and breathing exercises, many patients get much needed relief from fatigue and muscle pain.
  • Spiritual support – If your faith is your guide, nurturing it may help you cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges that come with cancer. At RCCA, we strive to provide universal spiritual support for you and your caregivers.
  • Nutrition counseling – Learning how to fuel your body and mind with foods rich in vitamins, nutrients and, yes, taste can help you take charge of your care.
  • Massage therapy – Can help relieve aches, pains and stress so you can stay focused of the more difficult aspects of cancer care.

Integrative care is a vital part of RCCA’s “whole person” philosophy of care. We strive to provide you with every available, proven therapy to maximize your treatment outcome, your physical comfort and your mental and spiritual health.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.

Palliative Care: Coping with Late Stage Cancer

Modern medicine has made remarkable progress in recent decades. Cancer treatment is a great example of the advancements that doctors and scientists have achieved. Cancer patients are living longer. Some cancers can now be cured.

Not every type of cancer can be treated, however, and some cancers are hard to detect early. When a cancer has spread throughout the body, treatment may no longer work. Whether that happens or not, some patients live with late stage cancer for years. Those people need to be comfortable and keep their spirits up. Palliative care can be an option for those people.

Palliative care doesn’t treat the disease. The goal is not to cure. Instead, it treats the symptoms and side effects of the disease. It also can sometimes treat the side effects of therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

This type of care is also called “comfort care,” “supportive care,” or “symptom management.” Patients can get information about nearby palliative care services from their RCCA team.

Palliative care takes many forms

Here are some of the ways palliative care can help:

  • Symptom relief. Many late stage cancer patients have symptoms such as pain, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, or shortness of breath. Some people have trouble sleeping. These symptoms don’t always come from the cancer. They can be caused by patients’ chemotherapy, radiation therapy or even surgery that’s done to keep the cancer under control.

    Palliative care can include giving pain medication or other medicine to help with these symptoms. These medicines can be taken along with the cancer control treatments. Patients can also get nutritional therapy, physical therapy and alternative therapies of various kinds for their symptoms.

  • Practical help. Cancer is hard to deal with, but sometimes you also have to deal with financial issues or have trouble with health insurance or other parts of the healthcare system. You may have trouble working or be unable to work. Palliative care may be able to help with these issues. RCCA care professionals can help find resources, counselors and organizations that can provide support.
  • Emotional and spiritual support. Cancer patients often feel fear, anxiety and confusion. Some people get depressed. Family and friends may not know what to say or how to cope. For all these reasons, it makes sense to get help. Experts can provide counseling. Support groups can be a place to talk and share emotions.

Can palliative care help your caregivers?

Cancer can make caregivers more important than ever. Having support from the people you love makes a huge difference. But those people may need help too. Sometimes caregivers don’t know what to say. They may not know how to cope with all the new things they need to do. Palliative care can help, offering support and comfort in many ways.

Is palliative care the same as hospice care?

Hospice care is usually given during the final six months of life. Palliative care can start much sooner, even while the patient is receiving treatment. The goal is to help patients deal with physical and emotional pain and other cancer challenges.

Regional Cancer Care Associates — Cancer care you can trust

Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) delivers the support, education and individualized attention you need. Your highly trained, experienced and compassionate cancer doctors — along with your physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and other team members — are dedicated to your optimal health. At RCCA, we focus on every patient and work with you and your family to give you the finest care available.

To schedule an appointment, contact the RCCA location nearest you. You can also get more information or schedule an appointment by calling (844) 346-7222.

What is Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing is a way to find out if a person has a change in his or her genes that’s called a “mutation.” If your doctor recommends taking a genetic test for a specific cancer, it’s to find out if you have a cancer-related mutation. If you do, you may be more likely to develop that type of cancer.

For some kinds of cancer, if you already have that cancer, genetic testing can help doctors decide on the right treatment. The tests can also help evaluate the risk of getting other cancers.

Some people get genetic tests if certain cancers run in their family, particularly if their mother or father had one of those cancers. It’s possible that the test will show an inherited gene mutation—but be aware that genetic testing doesn’t always provide a clear answer.

It’s also important to know that genetic testing will not tell you if you have cancer. The test can only see if you might have a gene mutation that can increase cancer risk.

Doctors have identified gene mutations that cause some inherited types of cancer. About 10% of breast cancer cases and about 20% of ovarian cancers seem to be inherited. Overall, about 5% to 10% of all cancers are connected to inherited gene mutations.

Is genetic testing right for me?

It’s important to talk about genetic testing with your doctor. Even if you have a mutation that’s connected with cancer, you may never get cancer. Also, many gene mutations have nothing to do with cancer. So, before agreeing to get a test, be aware that genetic testing has pros and cons.

Pros:

  • The test can show that you don’t have an increased risk of getting cancer.
  • On the other hand, the test may show that you do have greater risk of cancer. These results can be helpful in managing your risk, such as by starting healthier behaviors.

Cons:

  • Genetic testing doesn’t always give a clear “yes” or “no” answer about cancer risk. Sometimes the test doesn’t say one way or the other.
  • Some people aren’t good candidates for genetic testing.
  • Genetic testing can be expensive, especially if it’s not covered by insurance.

What else should I know?

Genetic testing usually isn’t painful. The doctor will either take a blood sample or cheek swab. Sometimes a tissue sample is needed.

It usually takes about 2-3 weeks to get genetic test results. However, talk with your doctor if the situation is urgent because genetic testing can sometimes be done more quickly.

Regional Cancer Care Associates — Cancer care you can trust

The expert healthcare team at Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) has the knowledge and experience to help you make difficult medical decisions. We’re respected by our peers and trusted by our patients. At RCCA, we understand that a cancer diagnosis changes everything. That’s why we’re here for you, delivering top-quality, state-of-the-art treatment close to your home.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.

Cancer Surgery Can Be Your Best Option – From Accurate Diagnosis to Successful Treatment

Surgery. The word itself can make anyone feel uneasy. Yet for cancer therapy, it remains the most effective method for diagnosing and treating many types of cancers. And because surgery is the oldest treatment for cancer, it has perhaps benefitted the most from being practiced and advanced.

There are a variety of cancer surgery types. The surgery performed depends on where the cancer is located, its stage, the amount of tissue to be removed and other factors. Based on your individual case, one of the following procedures may be recommended:

  • Preventive – Performed to remove precancerous or other at-risk tissue before it develops into cancer.
  • Diagnostic– Commonly known as a biopsy, a doctor surgically removes suspicious cells, which are then examined to determine whether or not they are cancerous. This is often the only way to diagnose cancer.
  • Staging – Performed to assess how much cancer is present, and how far it has spread. During staging surgery, the area around the cancer, including lymph nodes and nearby organs, are examined. The results are vital to guiding your treatment plan
  • Curative– If cancer hasn’t spread to other parts of the body, it’s possible to remove all malignant cells, effectively curing you of cancer. Curative surgery is often performed in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Debulking– When removing all your cancer would cause irreparable damage to nearby tissue, surgeons can remove part of the tumor. The remaining cancer cells are then treated with radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Palliative– When cancer has advanced beyond all options to treat or cure, surgery can be helpful in relieving pain or other symptoms.
  • Supportive– Makes performing other cancer treatments more convenient for the surgeon and more comfortable for you. For example, a device can be inserted under the skin that gives your oncologist easy access to your bloodstream instead of piercing your skin on a regular basis.
  • Restorative– Cancer surgery can alter physical appearance and even physical function. Reconstructive procedures can successfully restore, and even improve, both.

Through the strength and scope of the RCCA oncology physician network, we partner with some of the most trusted, experienced and highly capable surgeons in the three states we serve. We will connect you with a local, top-rated surgeon who share our dedication for meticulous coordination of care.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.

Radiosurgery: Accurate, Precise and Easier on You

Radiosurgery, or radiation surgery, is not “surgery” in the traditional sense. Instead, this technology uses high-dose, precision-focused radiation beams to treat tumors in the brain, neck, lungs and other parts of the body. Its remarkable efficiency can be credited to its ability to target tumors from many different angles — “attacking” them with high doses of radiation with minimal impact on the surrounding healthy tissue.

Shorter treatment times and minimal side effects, too

Radiosurgery’s extreme accuracy, and the high doses of radation it dispenses, usually results in a much shorter treatment cycle compared to other therapies. Most radiosurgery treatments can be completed in one to five daily, successive sessions. Side effects are also minimal. Some swelling may occur, but generally tiredness is the only complaint. Many people maintain normal activities, such as working and driving, during their treatment period.

Radiosurgery is just one of the breakthrough technologies and treatments RCCA oncologists call upon to offer the most advanced and effective treatments for each patient. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.