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Welcome to Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute

The experts of Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute are committed to fighting cancer on every front: through education and prevention, early detection and diagnosis, effective treatment, and survivorship programs. Our facility provides patients access to all aspects of care in a single destination including:

  • Infusion therapy suites and private rooms for chemotherapy
  • A state-of-the-art radiation oncology suite that offers treatment options that refine tumor targeting and reduce treatment time, such as RapidArc radiotherapy
  • A chemotherapy and infusion pharmacy staffed by clinical pharmacists and certified pharmacy technicians
  • An outdoor healing garden that offers a quiet retreat for both patients and families

Seamlessly integrating these services creates a real-time medicine model that helps ensure each patient receives the right diagnosis and the right therapy at the right time.

Life after cancer is something to celebrate

Life after cancer - survivorship

Leading up to National Cancer Survivors Day on Sunday, June 7, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute hosted "Hope Grows Here," a variety of activities to celebrate survivors, families and caregivers; offer hope to those fighting this disease; and raise awareness of the challenges of cancer survivorship. A survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer–from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life—whether in active treatment, just diagnosed or in remission for 20 years. Read the full article and view more photos from the event here.

Smart Talk: Colorectal Cancer Awareness - it can be prevented

As part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Ray Hohl, director of Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, and Dr. Walter Koltun, chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, discussed on WITF-FM's Smart Talk the causes, risk factors, and symptoms of colorectal cancer, treatment options, and what we're learning about this disease.

Cancer Institute earns three-year full accreditation with gold level commendation statusCOC Accredidation Gold Status

Upon recently completing its Commission on Cancer (CoC) survey and accreditation site visit, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute achieved full accreditation with gold level commendation status for three years. from the American College of Surgeons. "This recognition highlights our membership in an elite group of cancer programs committed to providing high-quality cancer care to the patients of our region," noted Dr. Raymond Hohl, director, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. "It underscores our commitment to excellence and plays an important role in advancing our mission to improve the lives of our patients."

The Cancer Committee - forty faculty and staff of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine and a liaison from the American Cancer Society-East Central Division - prepared for the site visit.

The CoC is dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. Click here to learn more about the CoC.

New SoundHealth Podcast Features Dr. Niraj GusaniNiraj Gusani, M.D.

As part of National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Niraj Gusani, who heads the Program for Liver, Pancreas and Foregut Tumors at the Cancer Institute, recently participated in a SoundHealth podcast to discuss pancreatic cancer—one of the most dreaded cancer diagnoses. It often proves deadly because it's typically aggressive, yet causes few or no symptoms until the late stages. As with many forms of cancer, there is hope for a cure when it's caught early–and many promising treatments for those with pancreatic cancer in any stage. Listen to the full podcast here.

How can you decrease your risk for Breast and Ovarian CancerIgnoring your family history isn't worth the risk

Everyone has some risk of developing breast cancer. Learning your risk early may help prevent cancer from occurring or catch it when it is most treatable. Penn State Hershey Breast Center's high-risk assessment team provides a comprehensive screening and customized care plan for your level of risk based on your personal screening. Protect your health and the health of the women in your family.

Schedule an appointment today by calling 717-531-5867. Meet the team and learn how the Breast Center can help you decrease your risk.

Look Good… Feel Better

Look Good…Feel Better helps female cancer patients improve their appearance and self-image by teaching them hands-on beauty techniques to manage the appearance of side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. This program is available throughout the year at Penn State Hershey. dates, locations and times vary. Registration is required. View the full schedule here. To register, call 1-800-227-2345.

Free Wig Program

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute is a proud supporter of the American Cancer Society's Free Wig Salon program located in Infusion Therapy - first floor to help patients undergoing cancer treatments and experiencing hair loss. Those who may be looking for a wig can visit the private Wig Room where a trained volunteer provides personal assistance in wig selection, fitting, styling, and wearing at no charge. Call 1-800-227-2345 for more information.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed for Vitamin D Metabolism Study A Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute research team led by Robin Taylor Wilson, Ph.D. is seeking healthy, African-American and European-American volunteers ages 18 to 30 to participate. Learn more about the purpose of this study and access the screening questionnaire.

Colon Cancer and Vitamin D: Jury still out - new study results due 2017

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Calcium/Vitamin D Supplementation Study is the largest randomized intervention trial of vitamin D to date.   A total of 36,282 post- menopausal women between the ages of 50-79 with anticipated three year survival were received either 1000 mg of elemental calcium plus 400 IU vitamin D3 daily or placebo.  The results after seven and eleven years of follow-up showed that vitamin D and calcium supplementation had no effect on the incidence of colorectal cancer among postmenopausal women (1, 2).  However, other studies have suggested that because women in the vitamin D trial also participated in the post-menopausal hormone therapy trials, results from the vitamin D and calcium trial may have been affected (3). A new study (VITAL), due in 2017, will be looking at these outcomes in depth. VITAL is a study in 25,875 men and women across the U.S. investigating whether taking daily dietary supplements of vitamin D3 (2000 IU) or omega-3 fatty acids (Omacor® fish oil, 1 gram) reduces the risk for developing cancer, heart disease, and stroke in people who do not have a prior history of these illnesses. (www.vitalstudy.org).

1. Wactawski-Wende  et al. 2006. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of colorectal cancer. N Engl J Med. 354(7):684-96. PubMed Link:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16481636

2. Cauley et al. 2013. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and health outcomes five years after active intervention ended: the Women's Health Initiative. J Women's Health. 22(11):915-29 PubMed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24131320

3. Ding EL, Mehta S, Fawzi WW, Giovannucci EL. 2008. Interaction of estrogen therapy with calcium and vitamin D supplementation on colorectal cancer risk: reanalysis of Women's Health Initiative Randomized Trial. Int J Cancer. 122(8): 1690-4. PubMed Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18092326

Our goal is to restore our patients and their families to wholeness, both emotionally and physically, while helping them live with the diagnosis of cancer. We encourage you to connect with other cancer patients, caregivers, family and friends at any of our support groups. Share your experiences with others living with cancer, and hear practical, up-to-date information from our cancer care teams, including what to expect during treatment, how to manage treatment side effects, and more. Click here for a complete list of support groups.

Awards

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute named Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers
 
Highmark Blue Shield has named Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute—at both Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Lehigh Valley Hospital—as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare CancersSM.
 
Complex and rare cancers comprise approximately 15 percent of new cancer cases each year, making it difficult for patients to research or locate facilities with oncologists or surgical teams that are experienced in treating these specific malignancies. Click to learn more.

Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute delivers cancer services throughout central and eastern Pennsylvania. The Institute's mission includes clinical care, research, education and community outreach. Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute brings the benefits of cancer-related research and education at Penn State's College of Medicine to the care of patients at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Our Partners and Affiliates Include: