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Treatment Programs

Surgical Oncology

The Division of General Surgery and the programs of Colorectal Oncology and Breast Oncology continue to provide quality care for surgical oncology patients. The Division of Otolaryngology provides state-of-the art comprehensive care through a team management approach. The interaction between patients and a multidisciplinary team of health care specialists serve to enhance the decision making process of in determining treatment regimens. The Division of Urology provides a broad range of services for urologic malignancies including prostate, bladder, testes, kidney and other urinary organs. The Division is actively involved in early detection, prevention and cancer control activities in the community.

Gynecology Oncology

The Gynecology Oncology Division offers comprehensive care through a multidisciplinary team approach that emphasizes preventive medicine. The Division utilizes appropriate screening tool, e.g. pap smears, breast self examination and instruction, mammograms, CA 125, pelvic sonograms and referrals for genetic testing, which is reserved for high risk patients. The Colposcopy Clinic manages all epithelial cell abnormalities of the endometrium, cervix, vagina and vulva. The treatment focus is to eradicate pre-invasive disease of the female genitalia.

Medical Oncology

The Division of Medical Oncology offers comprehensive instruction through pathophysiology conferences, grand rounds and tumor board participation. The medical oncologists are actively involved in treatment and chemoprevention trails focusing on breast, lung, colorectal, and head and neck cancers.

Nursing Oncology

A major objective of Oncology Nursing is to provide care in a manner that lets the patient know that he/she is not only care for, but also cared about. The nursing staff in the Cancer Center embraces the philosophy that all persons are of value and deserve equal treatment for their condition, and that such treatment is to be administered in an atmosphere that is aesthetically pleasing and spiritually supportive. The 25 bed inpatient Oncology Unit within the hospital is dedicated to the holistic care of the client with cancer. The Chemotherapy Infusion Center has flexible hours to meet the individual needs of the patient.

Pathology

The Department of Pathology provides support and consultation to all clinical departments involved in the study and the treatment of neoplastic disease. Diagnosis and interpretation of biopsy and cytologic specimens form the basis for involvement. Participation in tumor board and other conferences exemplifies the consultative role. The department is involved in collaborative research efforts in colon cancer to determine the spectrum of frequency of somatic mutations in colon cells in African-Americans. Other collaborations include minimally invasive staging for breast cancer and a project to improve patient survival by providing clinicians with molecular data that correlate the various forms of estrogen receptors in a tumor with response or resistance patterns to a particular anti-estrogen therapy. Departmental staff is proud to serve in these varied capacities.

Radiation Oncology

The Radiation Oncology Department is comprised of a highly trained staff of certified health professionals including radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, radiation physicist, medical Dosimetrist and nurses, who deliver comprehensive radiation therapy to clients through clinical evaluations, therapeutic decision making, target volume localizations, treatment planning, treatments simulations, and ongoing follow-ups and re-evaluations.

The Department’s clinical faculty collaborates with other cancer specialists, including medical oncologists, surgical oncologists and gynecological oncologists with the objective of providing state of the art treatments. As a result of this multidisciplinary approach most patients receive a combination of treatments, for example, chemotherapy and radiation followed by surgery. The Department’s ability to establish partnerships with other highly skilled physicians, both inside and outside of Howard University Hospital, enable patients to receive the best treatment for all cancers in a timely fashion.

Radiology

The Breast Imaging Section at Howard University continues to thrive and expand. The addition of a new dedicated staff and state-of-the art procedures have spearheaded the growth of the section. Approximately, 5,000 mammograms are performed each year. The addition of our stereotactic unit in conjunction with the Department of Surgery, allowed us to be the first hospital in the Washington, D.C. area with such capability. The mammotume (vacuum assisted) biopsy allows for an extremely non-invasive approach to biopsying breast lesions using computerized images. Because the procedure is performed through a needle, there is no need for stitches or home recovery time. Overall, patient reaction has been overwhelmingly favorable, especially from those patients who have had a previous “traditional” biopsy.

The Department of Radiology is a multimodality service which also includes Diagnostic Radiology (x-ray), Computerized Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance (MRI), Mammography, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasonography and Special Procedures. The general diagnostic section of the department provides routine fluoroscopic, mammography and interventional imaging services utilizing x-rays to achieve images. Nuclear medicine utilizes radiopharmaceuticals to perform procedures in support of patient care. Ultrasound provides real time and Doppler imaging capabilities utilizing sound waves as the basis for imaging parts of the human body. Computerized tomography provides cross-sectional imaging capabilities utilizing computer technology and x-rays to produce and view images of the human body. Magnetic resonance imaging utilizes magnetic and radio wave technology to provide images of the body.