Cancer care for your GI health
Whether you have symptoms that you are concerned about or you have been diagnosed with cancer, we’re here for you. Cancer is personal, so is how we care for you. Your doctor and care team start by listening to understand you and your health concerns.
Working with your gastroenterologist, our cancer care team at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital Cancer Institute provides personalized care for cancer that affects your digestive health, including:
- Colon cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Stomach cancer
We offer cancer treatment options that may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and many types of supportive care. Our cancer care team listens to understand you and your health concerns. Then, we work with you to create a care plan that’s right for you.
Benefits of our approach to cancer care
You’ll find a healing place to renew your body, mind and spirit. Our cancer center is on the campus of Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital in southwest Baltimore. Our network of cancer specialists extends throughout Baltimore County, Catonsville, Columbia and Laurel, Maryland.
When you choose us, you have an entire team dedicated to your care and connecting the dots for you. For more information about cancer services, call 667-234-2918.
We offer a range of services on our campus, with convenient valet parking. Transportation to and from appointments can be arranged for you. Our oncology care teams work together to help make your appointments as easy and coordinated as possible.
Genetic tests and counseling
Our care team provides genetic tests for gene mutations that may increase your risk for colon cancer. Telehealth genetic testing and counseling is now available. Our genetic nurse coordinator schedules your genetic tests and coordinates a consultation with a telehealth genetic consultant from the convenience of your home.
Cancer support programs and services
When you’re going through cancer care, we’re by your side. Your doctors and care team are here to help, listen and offer services that help support your treatment plan. Have a conversation with our patient consult coordinator — ask any question, big or small. And we offer an extended care team for emotional support — chaplain, palliative care specialist and oncology-certified social worker. Our healing garden and chapel are always open for you and your loved ones. Other services include:
- Cancer rehabilitation
- Financial aid counselors
- Oncology-trained pharmacists
- Patient and caregiver support groups
Recognizing symptoms of colon and other gut health problems
If you have gut health symptoms that are worrying you, or find a doctor. Abdominal pain that doesn’t go away is one of the more common symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers but is also a symptom of other digestive health disorders.
Signs of colon cancer:
- Abdominal pain that doesn’t go away
- A change in bowel habits
- Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement)
- Cramps or aches in your stomach that don’t go away
- Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way
- Losing weight and you don’t know why
Signs of other GI cancers, such as liver, gallbladder or pancreatic:
- Constant bloating
- Dark orange to brown pee (jaundice)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting solid food
- Tenderness in your stomach
- Yellowish eyes or skin (jaundice)
Multispecialty cancer care for colon cancer
A cancer diagnosis can feel overwhelming. But you’re not alone. You have a multispecialty care team dedicated to your care. At Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital Cancer Institute, your care team includes doctors specializing in gastroenterology, surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, and cancer pathology. We work together to deliver targeted therapies. And we meet to review your care plan and monitor your progress. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, ask your oncologist to discuss your options. If a clinical trial is right for you, we can help make sure you are connected to the right one.
Advanced diagnostic tests and treatments
Lab tests, imaging studies and ultrasound endoscopy help your doctors diagnose digestive health conditions and cancer, and help them create a personalized care plan. Depending on your health and type of cancer, your care plan may include:
- Chemotherapy and other targeted drug therapies that help stop the growth of cancer cells
- Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion (HIPEC) during surgery — a chemotherapy solution that helps destroy cancer cells
- Nutrition counseling to help improve your recovery
- Radiation therapy used as a definitive treatment or to shrink a tumor before surgery, or to help prevent a recurrence of the cancer
- Surgery, including minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery techniques, when possible
- Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE) — targeted delivery of anticancer drugs to block the blood supply to a specific part of the liver and help shrink the tumors