Cancer Care Services and Treatment
Whether you have a new cancer diagnosis or have been dealing with cancer for a long time, VA Portland Health Care System is here to provide timely, compassionate, and state-of-the-art care.
Chemotherapy and Infusion Therapy
The cancer care clinic provides care and support when intravenous chemotherapy or immunotherapy is part of your personal care plan. Oncology nurses, providers, and pharmacists are on hand to educate Veterans, assess and manage symptoms, and provide treatment and follow-up. Adjustable chairs are provided to promote comfort. To streamline your care, appointments may be combined with nutrition, social work, or palliative care when needed.
Diagnostic Testing & Imaging
VA Portland Health Care System offers a wide range of diagnostic tests to understand your cancer diagnosis and determine the most effective treatment for your personal care plan. Services provided include CT scans, ultrasound, MRI, 3-dimensional imaging, nuclear medicine, and molecular testing. Our medical experts use cutting edge technology to provide accurate, efficient, and timely test results to Veterans and their referring providers.
The General Surgery oncology program provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for tumors of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, breast, skin, and endocrine system. Their expertise covers a broad range of procedures, including sentinel lymph node mapping, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and complex oncologic resections.
For more information, please call our General Surgery RN Care Coordinator 503-220-8262, ext. 50520 or 51788
Interventional Radiology uses advanced imaging, such as X-ray fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT scans and MRIs, to diagnose and treat cancers with minimally invasive techniques, thus avoiding the need for open surgery. Treatments available at our facility include chemoembolization, Y90 radioembolization, and percutaneous thermal ablation (radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation).
Lung Cancer Screening Program
VA Portland Health Care System offers a multidisciplinary lung cancer screening program. We are a specialized team of nurse coordinators, pulmonologists (lung doctors) and radiologists dedicated to providing this successful program to our Veterans.
You should consider being screened for lung cancer if you have all three risk factors:
- 50–80 years old and
- A current smoker or a former smoker who quit less than 15 years ago and
- A smoking history of at least 20 pack-years (this means 1 pack per day for 20 years or 2 packs a day for 10 years, etc.). The more you smoke and the longer you smoke, the higher your risk for lung cancer.
How is screening for lung cancer done?
We screen for lung cancer using a CT scan every year. This CT scan gives a detailed picture of your lungs. If you are interested, please contact your primary care provider.
Medical Oncology & Hematology Care
VA Portland Health Care System Medical Oncology and Hematology services and clinics are committed to providing advanced, quality healthcare that promotes and improves our Veteran’s health and well-being. Our team has special training in cancer care (medical oncology and hematology). Your care team will include board certified physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, a medical assistant, a patient-care coordinator, and a medical support assistant.
Our team educates Veterans about their cancer diagnosis and uses the latest advances in cancer treatment to create a personal treatment plan. We partner with Veterans to identify the goals of treatment, such as to cure the cancer, treat cancer symptoms, and improve quality of life.
We want you to know that we are dedicated to you as our patient and will do our best to assist you and your family/friends through the treatment process.
Medical Oncology provides specialized care for many different types of cancer, such as colon, lung, and prostate. Treatment options may include intravenous or oral chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and immunotherapy. Oncology addresses treatment side effects during and after treatment and supports Veterans through their recovery.
For more information please call our Oncology Nurse Care Coordinator 503-220-3408
Hematology provides specialized care for all types of blood disorders. This includes hematologic cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome, and myeloproliferative disorders. We also specialize in non-malignant problems such as anemia, iron deficiency, blood clots, and bleeding disorders. We have a state-of-the-art infusion center with access to the latest cancer treatments including immunotherapies and oral targeted agents. We also have a dedicated clinic to support patients with anemia (administering iron infusions and growth factors such as EPO).
For more information please call our Hematology Nurse Care Coordinator 503-721-1436
Palliative Care Team
The Palliative Care Team provides specialized care for Veterans with potentially life limiting illness and their families. Palliative care focuses on treating physical symptoms of the illness as well as psychological, social and spiritual issues to maximize quality of life. The team includes a physician, nurse practitioner, social worker, psychologist, and chaplain. The Palliative Care Team sees patients both in the hospital and in outpatient clinic settings.
Precision Oncology – Molecular Testing
VA Portland participates in the VA National Precision Oncology Program (NPOP) and is a Precision Oncology Program for Cancer of the Prostate (POPCaP) site. It aims to help find genetic alterations in cancers which would give Veterans dealing with cancer better treatments that are less toxic.
Veterans with certain types of cancer undergo molecular testing of tumors to find better treatments. Veterans with cancer have access to:
- Molecular testing of tumor
- The most cutting-edge therapies to treat genetic changes
- Access to clinical studies at other VA institutions if applicable
Veterans at VA Portland have already benefited significantly from this approach.
For more information, please visit VA National Precision Oncology Program (NPOP).
VA Portland Health Care System offers video telehealth for Medical Oncology & Hematology and lung cancer evaluation and follow-up care. Telehealth allows you to receive care from our cancer experts closer to home. It may be available at your home or local VA community-based outpatient clinic.