Cancer Basics - Touro Infirmary
Cancer Care

The Basics of Cancer & Care in New Orleans

Helping you understand cancer

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you may have questions and concerns. At Touro, we strive to educate patients about the conditions they are facing.

Cancer is a broad term for hundreds of diseases that can affect just about every part of the body. Though each disease affects people in different ways, they are all united by a few key characteristics. Cancer occurs when damaged or abnormal cells divide rapidly, until they begin to invade and replace healthy cells. As these cancerous cells continue to divide and take over, they may even spread to different parts of the body.

What is cancer & how do we treat it?

There is no definitive answer as to what causes cancer, though there are several factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing it. Early diagnosis of cancer is key, as preventing the cancer from spreading can significantly improve recovery and survival.

Cancer can be treated in a variety of ways, including:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Stem cell transplants

There is no single way to treat cancer. Depending on the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with and how far it has progressed, your doctor will recommend a treatment method (or methods) best suited for you.

Some of the most common types of cancer include:

  • Lymphoma: Cancer within the lymphatic system, which creates germ-fighting white blood cells
  • Breast cancer: Cancer within the breast tissue cells that can occur in both women and men
  • Lung cancer: Often developed in patients age 65 and older; can be either small cell or non-small cell lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer: Cancer that develops within a man’s prostate, most common in patients older than 60

Newly diagnosed patients

News of a cancer diagnosis is one of the most difficult things a person can face. A diagnosis of cancer is a life-altering experience that impacts every aspect of your life. During this difficult time, it is important to recognize what information you need and where to get it. At Touro, we understand what you are confronted with and we are here to help.

We encourage you to use our website to learn more about cancer and the ways we can support you through your treatment and beyond. Our knowledgeable and caring team of doctors, nurses, and staff are happy to assist you in any way possible.

New patient orientation

Lacking sufficient information to make decisions, not knowing where to get help, and not knowing who to lean on for support are common challenges following cancer diagnosis. That is why Touro has introduced a new patient orientation program. This program, offered through the Touro Supportive Cancer Care Center, provides you with the information, resources, and support you need to better prepare for what could be next.

The new patient orientation program is designed to help you proactively address your needs before they get out of control.

The primary objectives of this program are to help you:

  • Become more knowledgeable about cancer
  • Learn ways to cope with cancer
  • Address your supportive care (non-medical) needs
  • Obtain referrals to the supportive care services you need
  • Know where to turn for assistance when you need it

The new patient orientation session is conducted over one hour held in a private office and is offered as a free service to Touro cancer patients. To learn more about New Patient Orientation, please contact Danielle McCullough, RN, BSN at 504.210.4475.