Holy Name Medical Center Cancer Teams Treat the Patient as a Whole
 
Raul Parra, MD, Medical Director of the Regional Cancer Center at Holy Name Medi
 

Until recently, a cancer diagnosis was often considered a death sentence. Fortunately, today cancer is often looked at as a chronic disease, an illness that can be treated for years, even decades, the way many people live with diabetes.

Early Cancer Detection, Improved Treatments

“Early detection and improved treatment are allowing people with cancer to live longer and with a better quality of life,” said Raul Parra, MD, Medical Director of the Regional Cancer Center at Holy Name Medical Center.

“Look at prostate cancer – it is the most common cancer in men nationwide,” said Parra, a urologic oncologist. “In New Jersey, about 8,000 new cases are diagnosed annually, with a great proportion of them in North Jersey. Because of early detection and improved treatments, the death rate has declined significantly and men diagnosed with the disease are living longer lives with a better quality of life.”

Decline in Cancer Deaths. Reduced Side Effects

Deaths from all types of cancer have been declining in the last two decades and much of the survivorship is due not only to earlier diagnoses but to advancements in various types of treatments. Improved surgical techniques, radiation therapies and targeted medications have all helped keep the disease at bay for many patients, and put many more in remission. These enhanced treatments are also instrumental in reducing side-effects and long-term negative lifestyle changes.

Hoping to expand on these positive outcomes, oncologists are working with other clinical professionals to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient. Parra, who recently joined Holy Name, believes the future of cancer treatment is forming integrated teams that specialize in different types of cancer with e