Welcome
Cancer Services 
 
 
 
 
Atlanta Medical Center's Cancer Center is located in the Health Pavilion across the street from the main hospital. 

Hearing the word "cancer" from your doctor is a devastating, life-changing event. Knowing where to turn for quality medical care and individual support may make a difference.

The Cancer Center at Atlanta Medical Center provides comprehensive yet compassionate medical and supportive care. Our team of physicians comes from a variety of medical specialties, and they are involved in each stage of cancer treatment. We work with the patient and family to provide options that include inpatient care and outpatient treatment.

Atlanta Medical Center's cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons as a teaching hospital cancer program. Our board certified physicians, registered nurses and highly trained medical technicians are committed to offering quality care in the fight against cancer. The specialized medical departments at Atlanta Medical Center include:

 
 

Mammography Department

According to the American Cancer Society, 211,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to occur among women in the United States in 2005, making it the most frequently diagnosed cancer, other than skin cancer, among women.

Mammography is a valuable tool in the early detection of breast  because it can help identify cancer in its early stages. The Mammography Department at Atlanta Medical Center is staffed by trained technicians and board certified physicians. Our mammography unit is accredited by the American College of Radiology and certified by the FDA.

The Mammography Department uses some of the latest breast biopsy techniques that are minimally invasive and allow patients to resume their normal activities sooner than with traditional methods. We offer the Advanced Breast Biopsy Instrumentation (ABBI) and the Mammotome Breast Biopsy System. Both of these procedures are performed under local anesthesia in our Same Day Surgery Center.

The Mammography Department is committed to educating the community about breast self examinations, prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

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Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine is used to look at changes inside your organs including what's happening inside the cells. Nuclear medicine allows doctors to see inside your body without surgery. It can be used to help diagnose diseases like cancer in its earlier stages and to see how treatments are working. Nuclear medicine also can be used to treat diseases including certain cancers.

Nuclear medicine uses special medicines that are attached to a small amount of radioactive material (radioisotopes). There are many different types of these special medicines. The type used depends on your condition.

The nuclear medicines can be swallowed, injected or inhaled. You'll only be given a small amount of the radioactive medicine. Once in your body, the special medicine goes to the specific part of the body being studied. From there it gives off radiation, known as gamma rays that are like X-rays. A special camera sees those gamma rays and gives the nuclear medicine physician a look at what's happening inside your body.

While having radioactive materials inside your body may sound scary, these special medicines are tested carefully and approved for use by the FDA. The amount given is very small. Your risk of reactions is very small, and more than half of the reactions are rashes. Your exposure to radiation during the procedure is very low and poses little to no risk.

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Radiation Oncology

One of the tools in the fight against cancer is radiation therapy which uses external or internal radiation to help shrink or destroy tumors. Radiation therapy uses beams of energy waves or particle streams called radiation. While these are similar to the radiation used for X-rays, the beams used to treat cancer are many times stronger.

This type of treatment is planned so that the radiation is focused on the tumor site. Ionizing radiation deposits energy that destroys the cells in the area being treated. In this process, the genetic material of the cells can be damaged so that the cells may not continue to grow. Some of the normal cells in the treatment area are affected.

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External Radiation

Once your doctor decides you need radiation therapy, your first step will be a simulation. The physician will outline the area to be treated so that a radiation field can be designed for your specific needs. A medical dosimetrist works under the direction of your doctor and the radiation physicist to determine the amount of radiation needed. A body mold may be made to keep you from moving during the treatments. These will help make sure your body is in the correct position for each treatment. You'll also have marks made with permanent ink to indicate the treatment field. These will stay in place throughout your treatment.

Usually, external radiation therapy treatments are given during outpatient visits. A large machine called a linear accelerator is used to deliver the radiation treatment while you lie on a table similar to an X-ray table or sit in a special chair. Your treatment session will last 15-30 minutes, but you'll only be receiving radiation for about 1 to 5 minutes. External radiation treatments are painless, but you may have some side effects during treatment that may be controlled with medication or diet.

Radiation Implants

In some cases, radiation is delivered to the tumor by placing small radioactive pellets directly into the tumor. This way the radiation is concentrated in the area to be treated and can lessen the radiation damage to some of the normal tissue near the cancer. The implanted seeds may be removed after a short time or left in place permanently. If they are left in place, the radioactive substance loses its radioactive properties and becomes non-radioactive.

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Pathology

Atlanta Medical Center's Department of Pathology helps doctors diagnose cancers. They do this by analyzing tissues taken during a biopsy or fine-needle aspiration or through blood samples. This department plays a key role in determining whether suspicious cells are cancer and how aggressive the cancer is.

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Medical Support Services

At Atlanta Cancer Center, we believe in treating the whole patient. We provide special services that are designed to help improve the quality of life for the cancer patient and his or her family.

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Nutritional Services

Cancer patients often have special dietary and nutritional needs. A clinical nutritional specialist may help by developing ways for cancer patients to meet their nutritional needs during cancer treatments. Nutritional support may include developing special diets.

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Pharmacy

The Department of Pharmaceutical Services provides pharmaceutical care to cancer patients. The pharmacists evaluate orders for chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. The pharmacist evaluates the drug to be used including how it is given, what the dosage is and how often the drug should be given. The patient's weight and health are part of this analysis including how the liver and kidneys are functioning.

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Outpatient infusion therapy services are available. 

Outpatient Infusion Therapy

The Outpatient Infusion Therapy Center provides a variety of services for cancer patients. These services include:

  • injections (Procrit/Aronese),
  • Chemotherapy,
  • And other outpatient procedures

The unit currently has six reclining chairs and one observation room with a bed. Each patient area is equipped with a TV and VCR and has additional seating for family or friends. Lab work may be drawn at the Infusion Therapy Center.

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