Any conversation surrounding a cancer diagnosis is a delicate one, which is why patients need not only a skilled medical provider by their side, but also a compassionate one who understands the emotional element attached to such a life-altering event. In South Jersey, Comprehensive Cancer & Hematology Specialists is widely regarded as one of the region’s leading practices treating oncologic and hematologic disorders. The center offers state-of-the-art treatment and personalized attention to each patient led by a talented and experienced staff that includes Richard L. Gordon, D.O., Trina Poretta, D.O. and Ruby Hanna, M.D.
This highly skilled team provides services for all oncology types, including breast cancer, lung cancer and a variety of gastrointestinal malignancies, as well as a broad spectrum of hematologic disorders. It is a smaller practice, which allows the physicians to offer more personalized care and in turn form a strong bond that extends beyond the typical doctor-patient relationship.
“It allows us to be more personal and intimate with our patients, and gives us the time we need to spend with them. I have a strong desire to get to know each patient on an intimate level to provide them with personalized care as well as the most modern care in terms of the advances that are coming out in oncology,” Dr. Hanna says.
Doctors and nurses really get to know their patients and are available around the clock if needed. At the huge university and city hospitals, the focus is generally on the illness, not the patient—and that’s not what most patients want. With around-the-clock access to physicians and nurses, each patient is taken care of throughout their treatments, not only medically but emotionally. The company has been in business since 1990 and has made it their mission to provide an understanding of the treatment plans and how patients are going to be affected. Each patient and their family members are walked through the journey with the Comprehensive Cancer & Hematology Specialists team, to ensure they never feel like they are going through this alone.
One of the hallmarks that the company has established is an approach that offers every patient easier access to their physician and offering quicker treatment start times. Beginning treatment shortly after diagnosis and meeting with the physicians and nurses quickly allows the patient to have a plan, which is half the battle to understanding what the patient’s next steps are. Simply having a course of action in place can give the patient resources that allow them to understand what to expect on their journey.
As each patient gets a personalized experience, they also develop a strong understanding of their treatments. The physicians at Comprehensive Cancer & Hematology Specialists recognize the importance of staying ahead of the curve in a field which is continuously evolving. By keeping abreast of the latest advancements, trends and cutting-edge treatments available, Dr. Hanna says the center is able to home in on the best options for each patient rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach.
“The field of cancer care is changing more than anyone could have possibly guessed,” Dr. Hanna says. “Whenever possible, treatment choice is based upon individual characteristics of the tumor. Specific molecular mutations or genetic mutations will guide decision making. Management of cancer has become more individualized than ever before. It’s a very exciting time to be in oncology for those reasons.”
Dr. Hanna adds that one of the biggest changes that has taken place in recent years is the immunotherapies available with many cancer types.
“This type of therapy first had its place in melanoma, renal cell cancer and lung cancer—a much broader spectrum of tumor types,” she says. “Cancer cells are often able to escape recognition by a person’s immune system, but these immunotherapies make cancer cells vulnerable to the immune system.”
She further adds that breast cancer treatment has also witnessed many advancements in recent years.
“In advanced breast cancer we are able to significantly delay the need for chemotherapy since more oral-targeted medications are now in use,” she says. “We are able to treat their cancer with drugs that are more effective and far more tolerable than choices they would have had in the past. Considering quality of life is of utmost importance. Women fighting breast cancer are able to continue their lives, raise families, pursue their careers and have an excellent quality of life while treating their cancer.”
Like with all the physicians and nurses at the center, Dr. Hanna’s gentle nature and compassion resonate with patients as she gets to know them on a personal level.
“It’s an honor to be able to be with these patients and provide them with this service,” she says. “It’s a matter of getting to know them and forming relationships over time. You earn their trust by the actions you take when caring for them. This allows a partnership to form and puts me in the best position possible to provide them with the treatment they need.”
Forming these relationships, combined with using the best technology available, is vital and provides for greater success of each patient’s treatment.
“This practice is set up in a way which is designed to give our patients a personalized care that’s on the cutting edge,” Dr. Hanna says. “As the technologies and medicines advance, we don’t want to lose touch with the personal side of medicine. Having a strong bond with the patient and earning their trust will allow them to overcome fear and anxiety that is often associated with the diagnosis and treatment they will be undergoing. We are not treating the disease, but are treating the person as a whole. I think that this approach directly leads to the best possible outcomes.”
Comprehensive Cancer & Hematology Specialists
705 White Horse Road, Suite D105 | Voorhees
(856) 435-1777 | ComprehensiveCancer.com