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Technology & Treatment

Technology & Treatment

St. Mary's Utilizes the Latest Technology in Cancer Treatment

The availability of advanced technology improves the cancer survival rate.  The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the earlier it can be treated effectively.

The Electrogmagnetic Navigational Bronchoscopy (ENB)  is exclusively available in the tri-state at St. Mary’s.  The ENB  uses a CT roadmap to extend the reach of the bronchoscope enabling physicians to locate small lung lesions for diagnostic testing and potential treatment.  The system uses natural airway access and electromagnetic technology.  ENB is typically an outpatient procedure and minimizes the need for more invasive surgical procedures to access lung lesions in the distant regions of the lung.  This advanced technology provides the ability to detect lung disease and lung cancer earlier, even before symptoms are evident, enhancing treatment options for patients.

Video Assisted Thorascopic Surgery or VATS Lobectomy is a minimally invasive surgery technique that uses a small video camera inserted into the patient’s chest with a scope to diagnose and treat heart and lung conditions.   Available at St. Mary’s, the VATS Lobectomy provides many important benefits to the patient, including shorter hospital stays, reduced post-operative pain, reduced trauma to the body, a smaller surgical scar and a faster recovery.  The VATS Lobectomy can be used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Diagnosis and staging of lung cancer
  • Removal of cancerous and benign tumors
  • Diagnosis and treatment of fluid around the lungs or heart
  • Removal of portions  of a diseased lung
  • Diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the esophagus, including cancer

Imaging tests (MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, PET scans, etc.) are an important part of cancer care.  Access to advanced imaging technology enables physicians to review precise information about a tumor’s size, shape, location and proximity to vital organs.  The availability of on-site CTs, PETs and MRIs results in quicker and more accurate diagnoses, treatment planning and tracking of the treatment’s effectiveness.   St. Mary's Radiology/Imaging services are provided at several convenient locations in Evansville and Boonville.  In many cases, we are able to provide "same day" results.

Radiation therapy may be utilized in a cancer care treatment plan, depending on the type and stage of the cancer.  This type of therapy uses high energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells.  The radiation may come from outside the body with beams intricately aimed at cancer cells or from a source implanted inside the body.  Radiation Therapy is often used in combination with surgery or chemotherapy or more.

The patient may become very tired during radiation therapy, especially in the later weeks of treatment. Resting is important, but doctors usually advise patients to try to stay as active as they can.  Fortunately, most side effects go away in time.

Chemotherapy is often given intravenously (IV), through a vein.  If the treatment plan involves many IV treatments, patients may have a catheter (thin, flexible tube) placed into a large vein that will remain there as long as it's needed.  Patients may have the IV started in the arm or  may have a port placed in the chest for IV access.   The first medications patients received through the IV are anti-nausea medicines. Most people receive two different medicines. Some chemotherapy treatments do not cause nausea or vomiting and do not require anti-nausea medications.

Sometimes, the anti-nausea medications may make the patient sleepy. Patients should always bring someone with them to drive them home after the first chemo treatment. The next IV solutions will be the chemotherapy medicines. Some medicines are given via a syringe through the IV tubing. Some are infused through the IV pump.

These medicines will infuse quietly. They do not hurt and they do not burn or sting. During the chemotherapy/biotherapy treatment, patients may talk with family, rest, read, work a crossword puzzle, or listen to music or meditations.  When the treatment is completed, the nurse will flush the IV line with the sterile water solution and stop the IV site. She will place a band-aid over the site.

© 2016 St. Mary's Health System   |  3700 Washington Avenue  |  Evansville, IN 47750  |  (812) 485-4000