Frequently asked questions - cancer services
What is your cancer center known for?
Your doctor and care team get to know you well, and you’ll receive care for the whole person – from physical health and well-being to mental and emotional health. At Ascension Saint Thomas, we provide innovative medication treatments, the latest surgical technologies and techniques, high-tech radiation facilities and support services. When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas, you get a national network of experienced cancer specialists, sharing best practices and the latest in cancer care knowledge and research.
At Ascension Saint Thomas, we provide many primary and advanced treatments for all types of cancer, including:
- Breast-conserving surgery
- Breast reconstruction and reshaping
- Cyberknife® radiosurgery
- Endoscopic procedures for head, neck and GI
- External beam radiation
- Hidden Scar™ breast surgery
- Hormone therapy
- Immunotherapy and advanced targeted drug therapy
- Intraoperative surgery, combining surgery with chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Lutathera for treatment of neuroendocrine tumors
- Minimally invasive breast biopsy with magseed, fine needle or wire localization
- Mohs dermatologic skin surgery
- Robotic-assisted gynecologic surgery
- Stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic radiation therapy
- Video-assisted thoracic surgery
- Robotic bronchial navigation
- Y-90 microspheres liver embolization
Who is on my cancer care team?
Hearing the word cancer comes with a lot of thoughts and emotions, and we’re ready to support you. You’ll meet with your doctor to discuss your diagnosis and your care options. At Ascension Saint Thomas, your care team may include:
- Oncology specialists (medical, surgery, radiation, pathology and hematology)
- Oncology-certified nurses, dietitians and social workers
- Oncology-certified pharmacist
- Palliative care specialists
- Radiation therapists
- Radiology imaging
- Rehabilitation therapists, including lymphedema therapists
- Surgeons specializing in reconstructive surgery
Together, we will decide on a care plan. And your entire care team will stay connected throughout your care to discuss your treatment and progress.
Who should I call when I have questions?
When you choose Ascension Saint Thomas for your cancer care, you get an entire team dedicated to your care. You may have a lot of concerns and questions. Your doctor and care navigator are ready to listen and answer your questions. Working together, we offer services that help support your treatment plan, including managing pain and other symptoms, medications, appetite changes, sleeplessness, fatigue and mood changes. Your entire care team stays connected throughout your care to discuss your treatment and progress.
Is financial assistance and support available?
We can connect you with resources and programs that may be able to help you and your family with options for financial assistance. Our financial counseling team is here to listen to your concerns and work with you to help find options that meet your needs. Your cancer care navigator can connect you to a financial counselor.
Where do I park?
At Ascension Saint Thomas cancer centers and clinics, we offer convenient parking, by a valet if needed. Talk to your care navigator if you have transportation needs.
My doctor told me about an enhanced recovery program. What is that?
Surgical oncologists and anesthesiologists provide enhanced recovery pathways as part of your surgical care plan. They are an important part of our cancer treatment programs. Each pathway is personalized for different types of cancer treatment, to help speed up your recovery after surgery. Your care team uses these protocols to help you prepare for what to expect before, during and after surgery.
Cancer screening: What if I’m concerned about getting cancer?
Getting regular screenings may help find cancer early, when it is most treatable. There may be more options for treatment too. We offer convenient diagnostic imaging tests, including low-dose CT lung scans, mammograms, colonoscopies and many other preventive health screenings.
- In your 20s: Women should begin getting regular Pap exams and clinical breast exams. Men should be getting annual health screenings.
- In your 30s: Women should continue getting regular clinical breast exams. They should begin getting HPV tests in addition to Pap exams. Men should continue with annual health screenings.
- In your 40s: Women should begin getting regular mammograms, colonoscopies, HPV tests and Pap exams. Men should begin getting colonoscopies. Men at increased risk for prostate cancer should also begin speaking to their doctor about PSA-based prostate cancer screening.
- 50 and older: Women should continue getting regular mammograms, colonoscopies, HPV tests and Pap exams, or as recommended by their doctor. Men should continue getting regular colonoscopies and start or continue prostate cancer screenings. Older individuals should talk with their doctor about other screening tests. Annual lung cancer screening is recommended for adults 50 and older with a 50-pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years.
We make staying up to date on routine screenings as convenient as possible, with extended hours and locations across Middle Tennessee. Ask your doctor about the cancer screenings that are right for you.
Learn more about cancer screening.
Is there insurance coverage for screenings and other cancer services?
Check with your insurance provider, including Medicare, so that you are informed regarding your coverage for screenings, preventive care services and other tests or procedures.
Ascension is committed to helping find assistance for those who do not have insurance sufficient to cover their healthcare costs, and to working with our patients in a compassionate and caring manner. We may be able to help you through our financial partnerships and resources. Our representatives are happy to provide you an estimate of your financial responsibility after your insurance company pays their portion. We can also provide you additional information about our self-pay discounts, financial assistance policy and additional payment plan options. For more information, please visit Financial Assistance. Ascension provides healthcare services without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin or disability.
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