When you receive a cancer diagnosis, your world becomes filled with complex emotions, questions, information and decisions. But you won’t be alone on the journey. Cancer specialists at Sutter's nine cancer centers are certified by the American College of Surgeons as well as the Community on Cancer (COC).
Nationally recognized cancer specialists, highly trained oncology nurses and skilled technicians in the Sutter Health network work together so you have access to leading-edge treatments, progressive clinical trials and a 24/7 multidisciplinary support team.
From day one of your diagnosis, our Cancer Nurse Navigator Program can provide you with a single, compassionate and knowledgeable point of contact who can guide you through everything from genetic testing and counseling to financial concerns. And as your key medical partner, your oncologist coordinates and oversees your medical care from your first appointment through to survivorship.
Leaders in Advanced Cancer Technology
At Sutter Cancer Centers, you have access to the forefront of technological advances in cancer care. Our areas of innovation include:
- Radiosurgery — Using equipment available only to a handful of healthcare providers, doctors at Sutter Cancer Centers can treat brain tumors and cancers in other parts of the body with unsurpassed accuracy—all with fewer side effects, greater comfort and improved outcomes.
- Varian RapidArc® Radiosurgery TrueBeam™ STx System — Radiation oncologists at Sutter Cancer Centers recently began using this new technology—a highly precise, faster and noninvasive way of excising tumors using shaped high-energy X-ray beams.
- Gamma Knife — Used specifically for tumors and other medical problems of the head, this type of radiosurgery delivers precise beams of radiation to the area in need of treatment.
- Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT) — This 3-D breast cancer screening equipment significantly improves cancer detection and reduces callback rates for findings that are not cancer.
- Endomicroscopy — A tiny microscope smaller than the tip of a pen allows doctors to better identify pre-cancerous or malignant lesions during endoscopic procedures, and, in some cases, immediately perform what can amount to life-saving treatment—a major advance in early cancer detection.
- da Vinci® Robotic-Assisted Surgical System — This technology enhances your cancer surgeon’s skill by providing a magnified, three-dimensional view of a surgery site, accessed through micro-incisions, allowing the surgeon's hand to make extremely precise movements—particularly valuable for prostate, gynecological and kidney cancers.
- Gynecologic Brachytherapy — This form of radiation therapy treats cancer from the inside out by inserting a sealed radioactive source directly into a tumor or a short distance from the tumor via special catheters or applicators. After treatment, the applicator is removed and you can go home.
- Prostate Brachytherapy — Thanks to Sutter’s early adoption of this technology, some men can receive definitive prostate cancer treatment with a single outpatient procedure.
- Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) — If you have breast cancer, this technology allows you to complete an entire radiation course in one week, rather than a more typical four to six weeks of daily treatments.
Awards for Exceptional Cancer Care
We’re proud to be at the forefront of cancer care and research. Here are just a few recent achievements in the Sutter Health network sites:
- The American College of Radiology designated four Sutter sites as Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence.
- The Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at Sutter Medical Center and Sutter Cancer Center in Sacramento joined a select group of transplant programs nationwide officially recognized for overall excellence from the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy.
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation recently became one of the first oncology practices in the nation to be recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program, an affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
- Eden Medical Center is the first healthcare facility in California designated as a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence—the highest distinction possible from the American College of Radiology.
- In 2015, the U.S. News & World Report gave the Neurology and Neurosurgery Department at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento the highest-possible score for Advanced Technologies and nurse-to-patient ratio.
Pushing the Clinical Research Envelope
We’re committed to participating in clinical trials to help you—and thousands of others—in the fight against cancer. Since the 1950s, our research centers have conducted hundreds of groundbreaking studies leading to medical innovations in cancer and other diseases. Recent findings include a novel treatment for glioblastoma, the most common and severe form of brain cancer, and the discovery that high levels of a particular gene found in melanomas, a deadly form of skin cancer, indicate a particularly aggressive form of cancer that needs targeted treatment.
Hundreds of Sutter patients are enrolled in cancer clinical trials each year through the Sutter Cancer Research Consortium, which coordinates the cancer research of investigators across sites within the network. This gives patients access to a diverse range of treatment options and follow-up services, and facilitates their participation in National Cancer Institute and industry-sponsored clinical trials. In addition, Sutter Health is tracking long-term outcomes for thousands of patients from previous trials after they have completed active treatment.