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Cancer Care

World-renowned UPMC Hillman Cancer Center care is available to you, right in Butler County.

Our comprehensive team at Butler Health System has been delivering world-class care to our community as part of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center network since 2013. Patients have access to renowned cancer specialists and the latest advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, medical and radiation treatments, and breakthrough clinical trials that others travel from all over the country for… right in their backyard.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at Butler Health System offers comprehensive treatment and support services, including:

  • Chemotherapy administration
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
  • X-ray volumetric imaging (XVI)
  • Brachytherapy
  • State-of-the-art surgical services
  • Access to clinical trials
  • Advanced diagnostic and interventional oncology imaging
  • Individual and family therapy
  • Cancer and caregiver support groups

Talking to a Friend or Relative with Cancer

Reaching out to a loved one with cancer is important, but it can be difficult. One key thing to remember is the importance of being genuine. Remember that your loved one is the same person, cancer or no, and they will appreciate having real discussions with you. Make it clear you still see them as the person they always have been. Do not worry about having all the right things to say, no one expects you to. Just listening can be a major source of support. It may benefit you to do some research on the disease, and familiarize yourself with their situation. Focus on the positive, and know that just by being there, you play an important role in your loved one’s support system.

Know the Warning Signs

Spotting cancer symptoms early can greatly improve your ability to fight the disease. If you are curious or anxious about cancer, research the warning signs. By familiarizing yourself with the early symptoms, you will have a better idea of when to visit a doctor for concerning conditions. General cancer symptoms include weight loss, increased fatigue, unexplained pains, indigestion, odd lumps or skin discolorations, change in bowel habits, and sores that do not heal. Do not panic if you have these symptoms, they can be the result of many conditions. Visit a doctor for an informed diagnosis and a cancer screening.

Coping with Physical Effects of Cancer

Both cancer and its treatment can take a heavy physical toll. It’s not always possible to avoid these conditions, but there are ways to fight them and take some control over your situation. For instance, you can defend against nausea by changing your diet to 6 or 8 small meals a day, and sticking to dry, simple foods for snacks. Do not be afraid to indulge in some of your preferred, healthier foods as a means to fight a reduced appetite. If you are experiencing heavy fatigue or pain, speak with your doctor about medications that can ward off these symptoms.

Radiation Therapy

More than half of patients diagnosed with cancer receive some form of radiation therapy. Effective use of this treatment can shrink tumors, or even destroy cancer cells. Depending on where the radiation is being applied, and the patient’s overall health, side effects of this treatment can be mild to exhausting. You can ease the burden of radiation therapy by getting plenty of rest and maintaining a healthy diet. It’s best to interfere with the affected area as little as possible: wash with warm water instead of hot, avoid tight clothing, and do not put cold packs or warm compresses on the area.

Understanding Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a medication designed specifically to kill cancer cells. It is a powerful treatment, but must be carefully administered to avoid severe side effects, which is why it is mostly performed at a doctor’s office or hospital. Chemotherapy may be your sole cancer treatment, or used in conjunction with other methods. When used effectively, it can shrink tumors, prevent the spread of cancer, and help with the pain of the disease. The frequency at which it is administered can be anywhere from every day to every few months. Side effects include hair loss, nausea, fatigue, and weakness.

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