Cancer control: an innovative approach to care

June 01, 2017
CancerControlboth_coaches
Swedish Cancer Institute’s Breast Care Express coaches -- full-service mobile mammography clinics on wheels -- travel through Seattle.

At the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI), patients receive services that span the entirety of the cancer care spectrum, from screening, to diagnosis and treatment, all the way to survivorship. Swedish is an established leader in cancer treatment and has improved the lives of countless patients and their families through the delivery of state-of-the-art, personalized care.

To ensure that Swedish continues to deliver the best possible care, we are committed to emphasizing prevention and screening services in addition to providing innovative treatments. The goal of each of these services is to eliminate cancer, and the best way to eliminate cancer is to prevent it. Additionally, the best way to improve cancer survival is through early detection. “By catching cancer early, we are able to significantly increase the patient’s chance of successful treatment; it is a lot easier to treat stage one cancer than it is to treat late stage cancer,” says Dr. Soma Subramaniam, a medical oncologist at SCI and co-chair of the SCI Cancer Control Program.

Cancer screenings are now more effective at catching cancer early and allow us to better identify high-risk individuals. In order to channel the benefits of these improved screenings, a Community Health Needs Assessment was conducted under the leadership of Kylie Cooper, MPH. This report allows SCI to identify specific community needs with confidence, and helps SCI better serve its patients and the local community. The findings of this report show that cancer screening rates, among other preventative services, can be improved within King and Snohomish counties. In order to address these needs, Dr. Subramaniam and Kylie Cooper have united to lead a new SCI committee that will focus its efforts on reducing cancer.

The Cancer Control Committee aims to improve the health of local communities by reducing barriers and increasing access to cancer care, promoting prevention efforts through educational opportunities and addressing population specific needs. The committee’s co-chair, Kylie Cooper, emphasizes the community aspect of the program by stating, “Providers within the Swedish Cancer Institute have been offering cancer control-type services to our community for a long time. It is exciting to see a formal initiative bringing all aspects together to further work in unison with our community partners and address issues like access, prevention and screening.” Within the last year, the Cancer Control Committee has grown to over 35 members, and includes physicians from various oncology departments, surgeons, health educators, data analysts and partners in primary care. The committee recognizes that Cancer Control is truly a collective effort, and therefore channels available resources, research and existing partnerships to best serve the local community.

The development of this committee is one way that SCI is showing its commitment to comprehensive patient care (care that includes more than medical treatment and focuses on the needs of the individual). Leadership at SCI recognize that Swedish has the opportunity to lead the way in prevention and screening efforts, and can do so by bringing together community, clinical and research efforts across the Pacific Northwest. Ways that Swedish is contributing to Cancer Control include:
  • Serving populations with limited access to cancer care by bringing the screenings to them onboard the mobile mammography bus (pictured below)
  • Expanding tobacco cessation programs
  • Increasing the availability of education materials in languages other than English in order to best serve diverse populations
  • Expanding supportive care services to provide more community classes in new locations
  • Partnering with primary care physicians to further encourage screenings and risk assessment
  • Identifying patients and families at elevated risk for breast and ovarian cancers and recommending appropriate screening studies

If you have questions about Cancer Control or want to learn more about screenings available to you, contact the SCI at: 855-XCANCER.

A PDF version of the SCI community health needs assessment is available on this page

To learn more about scheduling the Swedish Breast Care Express — including availability and fees —call 206-320-2500.

This article is from the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Life to the Fullest, the newsletter from the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) dedicated to those with cancer, cancer survivors, and their family members and caregivers.

Topics: Cancer