About Cancer Care Services

About Cancer Care header

The St. Vincent Cancer Care approach is multidisciplinary and holistic. That means we surround our patients with a team of cancer experts. We approach cancer with state-of-the-art treatments and combine physical, nutritional, psychological and spiritual therapies to benefit the whole person.

Jim McCarty Story

Hard to catch your breath?
Jim Carty, a former smoker, says the St. Vincent $99 Lung low-dose CT Scan saved his life. He admits his wife and daughter "pushed him" to get it checked out because he seemed out of breath too often. Jim stopped smoking eight years prior but continued to experience worrisome signs and symptoms. For Jim, the Lung Scan was a screening test that had diagnostic benefits. He was diagnosed with early stage lung cancer, very treatable. Since that time, Jim has embraced his cancer journey and is vigilant about doing follow-up tests and keeping appointments.  He openly shares his story with others, especially those who smoke, because he now knows how preventable lung cancer is when diagnosed early.

Lung Cancer

Detecting more lung cancers  

Lung cancer auses more cancer deaths than any other cancer in men and women. The low-dose CT lung scan detects more lung cancers that a traditional chest x-ray. Lung cancer is not the only cancer linked to smoking - know the signs and symptoms for cancers of the mouth, lips, nose and sinuses, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum, ovaries, and acute myeloid leukemia. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2014) Ask your physician - Am I at risk? or call the Cancer CareLine 317-338-3900.

Meet our team of Cancer Care specialists

Don’t ignore symptoms, take action

A young mother, Joy Humphrey knows her body, and feels something is wrong. She asks her OB/GYN physician, "Worse case scenario, what does this mean? Will I ever have another child?" Joy was diagnosed with cervical cancer and treated at St. Vincent. Dr. Stanley Givens, Radiation Oncologists, explains that, yes, St. Vincent has all the state-of-the-art treatments and equipment, and expertise, but we also use our hearts to help heal and are backed by the St. Vincent Ministry. That is holistic cancer care. Joy continues to advocate for cancer awareness and educate others in the community. Her family has since adopted a little girl, "God can take something ugly out of cancer and bring something beautiful out of this experience - for me that is my daughter."

More than 90 board-certified, fellowship-trained cancer specialists treat all types of adult and pediatric cancers. The core team often includes a surgeon who specializes in treating your specific type of disease, medical oncologist/hematologist to quarterback the medication therapy, and a radiation oncologist to target and shrink or kill the cancer cells.

Our patient navigators understand the roadmap to cancer survival and are available to help guide and support each patient on his or her journey, and introduce our many cancer care services and compassionate caregivers. At every junction are oncology nurses, surgical nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants; oncology certified genetic counselors, pharmacists, dietitians and social workers; radiation technicians, physicists and dosimetrists; with a host of diagnostic cancer screening associates and patient educators.

To find a cancer specialist, click here.

Statewide leaders in Cancer Care

St. Vincent Cancer Care is based in Indianapolis on the St. Vincent Hospital campus at 86th St., boarded by Harcourt Rd. on the east side and Nabb Rd. on the west side.

  • 90 Cancer Specialists (surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists), many are Indianapolis TOP Doctors (Indianapolis Monthly magazine)
  • 300+ Cancer Care associates compassionate and committed to St. Vincent's Spirit of Caring philosophy
  • American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (COC) recognizes St. Vincent Cancer Care for providing multi-disciplinary, comprehensive cancer care services
  • St. Vincent Breast Services are located on the Indianapolis campus and at St. Vincent Carmel Hospital and Women's Center. The Mobile Screening Mission in Motion Program is a community based outreach that includes mammography screening for those in need, in our community and in the workplace. All of these breast services are certified by NQMBC and NAPBC.
  • At St. Vincent, CORVASC Thoracic surgeons treat more lung and chest cancer cases than any other practice in the state.

Cancer Care technology highlights

The St. Vincent Provider Learning Channel includes interviews with Cancer Care specialists; these physicians describe how they are applying innovative technological advances to comprehensive, compassionate cancer care.

Sampling of St. Vincent Cancer Care Firsts

  • Y-90 microsphere procedure treats complex challenging liver cancer cases; St. Vincent is a regional training site.
  • Implanted voicebox enables throat cancer patients to have a voice.
  • Radioactive Seed implantation zeroes in on breast tumors to improve breast cancer surgical outcomes.
  • St. Vincent is the first and only Robotic Surgical  Epicenter in Indiana and also a national training center. The highly trained surgeons use robotic technology to deliver minimally invasive surgery options with faster recovery times.
  • Advanced robotic Gynecological Oncology surgery yields better outcomes
  • Cancer Care Urologists were early adopters of robotic urologic cancer procedures, benefitting prostate and bladder cancer patients and overall survivability 

How to ask your doctor questions about your cancer treatment plan

Your St. Vincent Cancer Care Team, the cancer doctors, nurses, navigators and all who provide cancer care want you to know everything you can about your cancer care plan. Never hesitate to ask a question at any time. Our Patient Navigators are the natural "go-to" people when you have a question and you're not sure how to phrase it or who to ask. Patient Navigators are available by calling 317-338-3900.

Every time you come in for a doctor's appointment or treatment, ask the staff to answer the following four questions:

  1. What is my main problem?
  2. What do I need to do while I am here today?
  3. What do I need to do when I go home?
  4. Why is it important for me to do this?

Ask your question twice if you need to

There will be days when there is just too much information and it all seems overwhelming. At St. Vincent Cancer Care we work very hard to clarify the priorities of the treatment plan and educate our patients so they have a greater sense of control over their cancer journey. It's OK to ask again by saying, "This is all new to me. Will you please explain it again." The Patient Navigators are available to patients by phone or in person.

Cancer Care Tips

Tip #1: Prior to your appointment, write out a list of health concerns and side effects and bring your journal (if you have already started one).

Tip #2: Bring a friend or family member to help support you and write down notes while you are talking to the staff.

Tip #3: Always bring an updated list of all medications (prescribed and over the counter), dietary supplements, and vitamins you are taking.

Navigating the first steps for the newly diagnosed

At St. Vincent Cancer Care, you are not alone. We are your partners, throughout the journey - holding your hand, caring deeply, giving you access to options and opportunities to survive and thrive.

  • Meet your Cancer Care Team
  • Learn, share and take the time you need to make an informed decision
  • Review your personalized care plan and ask more questions
  • Get insurance benefit information from the St. Vincent financial counselor
  • Ask about supportive services: survivorship starts at the time of diagnosis
  • Learn how to best tell loved ones and organize a circle of support
  • Think daily on how to focus on the needs of your body, mind and spirit

Each person you encounter at St. Vincent Cancer Care is advocating for you. Our Cancer Care Services are in place for you and your loved ones.

  • Surivorship Navigation: Support Groups, Art Therapy and Supportive Classes
  • Genetic Counseling and Risk Assessment
  • Oncology Rehabilitative Services
  • Women's Health Services, Breast Care, Gynecologic Oncology
  • Palliative Care
  • Pastoral Care
  • Financial Assistance and Counseling
  • Social Services and Home Care Coordination

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