Cancer care: cancer treatment

Kaiser Permanente features the da Vinci robotic surgery system, benefiting patients with prostate and other cancers. Other services include three free-standing radiation oncology centers across the greater Sacramento area, a comprehensive Mohs surgery program for treating skin cancers, a Breast Health Center led by renowned surgeon and breast cancer research stamp creator Ernie Bodai, MD, and surgeons who specialize in the removal of tumors in complicated regions of the skull and neck.

Surgery

At Kaiser Permanente, we have a team or general surgeons and surgical subspecialists to care for you if your cancer requires surgical treatment.

In addition to traditional surgical procedures, we also offer robotic surgery in appropriate cases, as well as Mohs surgery for certain types of skin cancers.

Robotic surgery offers new possibilities

Surgeons at our South Sacramento Medical Center are using an advanced robotic system to treat cancers of the prostate and to perform certain gynecologic surgeries, including hysterectomies, removing uterine fibroids, treat cancers of the kidney and bladder, as well as some gynecological tumors.

Surgeons make dime-sized incisions and view the surgical site on a monitor in high definition, magnified 10 times. They use computer controls to move the tiny robotic tools.

For people who are good candidates for robotic surgery, it has the potential for:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Greater precision
  • Less blood loss
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Decreased post-operative pain
  • Faster recovery time

Mohs surgery (microscopic skin cancer surgery)

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with more than 800,000 cases occurring each year. Some of these cancers require a special surgical procedure called Mohs surgery.

Most skin cancers can be removed with a simple excision. However, some can be deceptive, particularly those that have reoccurred after prior treatment or occur in the fold areas of the nose, eyes, and ear. Mohs surgery involves using a microscope to trace out subtle extensions of the tumor so that none of it remains.

Mohs surgery is not necessary for all skin cancers. However, for the difficult cancers, Mohs surgery often gives the best chance of cure and saves as much normal tissue as possible.

Chemotherapy

Kaiser Permanente provides compassionate care for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Our nurses are Oncology Certified Nurses and the pharmacists preparing your treatments are specially trained in chemotherapy care.

We offer infusion and chemotherapy services at three locations in the Greater Sacramento area:

Radiation

Kaiser Permanente offers three state-of-the-art Radiation Oncology Centers that are specifically designed with our patients in mind. Our centers are beautifully designed and decorated to help ease the concern or tension patients may be experiencing.

Because patients are generally receiving multiple radiation treatments, we have created surroundings that are warm and welcoming. Our Radiation Oncology Centers have exceptional patient satisfaction scores due to the compassion with which they care for patients, and the quality of the work they do.

Members can receive radiation treatment at one of three centers located in Roseville, Rancho Cordova, and Sacramento:

  • Radiation Oncology Center, Roseville – 504 Gibson Drive, Roseville
  • Radiation Oncology Center, Rancho Cordova – 10725 International Drive, Rancho Cordova
  • Radiation Oncology Center, Sacramento – 8100 Bruceville Road, South Sacramento Cancer Center

Clinical trials and new cancer treatment therapies

For more than 20 years, Kaiser Permanente has offered its members access to some of the newest cancer therapies through our clinical trials program.

At any one time, we have up to 50 clinical trials open to our adult members who are appropriate candidates and our pediatric oncology clinical trials programs is one of the busiest in the nation. Through these programs, patients are often able to participate in promising new cancer treatments before they are FDA approved and available commercially to the general medical community.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California is a full Member of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), and in 2012 we were acknowledged for the second time by SWOG with an award for the highest accrual of patients into SWOG trials. This is significant for a non-academic medical center. The overwhelming majority of SWOG Members are university programs. Our highest accrual in the Member category was greater than the other 41 full members including such institutions as Stanford, UC Davis, UC Irvine, City of Hope, and Cleveland Clinic.

Now with more than 125 medical, surgical, gynecologic, and radiation oncologists at dozens of sites in Northern California, the Kaiser Permanente Oncology Clinical Trials (KPOCT) program has enrolled more than 4,000 patients in the last two decades, and we continue to enroll between 400 and 500 patients annually into NCI-sponsored or approved clinical trials. KPOCT is, in fact, one of the largest cancer clinical trials programs on the West Coast.

Kaiser Permanente has a special website, TrialCheck, where members can view the current list of open oncology clinical trials.