Learning you or someone you love has cancer may be one of the most difficult challenges you will ever face. You wonder: How? Why me? Where do I go? Will I survive? Will I lose my hair? How will my family deal with this? Can we afford it? Is chemotherapy an option? What about radiation? The questions go on and on.
The most important thing for you to know is that University Cancer & Blood Center has been taking care of people with cancer just like you or your loved one since 1982. You have the benefit of treatment close to home from highly regarded physicians who trained at the nation’s finest cancer centers – including MD Anderson in Houston; Georgetown University in Washington, DC; the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Cornell, and some of the most esteemed military hospitals in the country.
Using state-of-the-art cancer therapies, we offer each patient hope, healing and compassion. Everyone at UCBC is committed to NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center standards of excellence for patient care.
As the community’s oldest medical and radiation oncology group, we treasure our relationship with each person who puts his or her trust in our medical expertise. It’s a trust we accept with honor and humility. And we want you to know what we do to earn that trust.
Here’s what you can expect from us:
- Coordination of Care between you and UCBC medical and radiation oncologists and other specialists as needed to discuss treatment plans, related issues and progress;
- Oncologists who always take calls – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – for patients in the hospital or at home;
- A clinic that is open each weekday to monitor patient blood counts for optimum treatment scheduling and to provide IV fluids and medications that help reduce ER visits between treatments;
- An onsite COLA-certified lab, a patient-oriented pharmacy and full-time social workers;
- Clinical trials of NCI cooperative group and pharmaceutical company therapies for medically eligible patients in the Athens clinic. We believe that as new discoveries move from the laboratory to the clinic, our patients – like those in New York, Houston, Birmingham or Boston – are entitled to the best therapies medical science can provide;
- Physicians who spend time listening to patients with respect and addressing their needs and fears with honesty;
- We have seven locations including five satellite offices and two main locations in Athens;
- An ethic that values second opinions — especially from NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers;
- Participation in nearly every insurance plan, Medicare and Medicaid as well as pro bono care for indigent patients;
- A belief that everyone, regardless of income, is entitled to medical care. We have never turned away an uninsured patient;
- Appreciation for integrative care to treat the whole person. We support complementary therapies such as acupuncture, nutritional programs and meditation. We encourage patients to take advantage of appropriate genetic testing, health education and financial counseling. Our full-time social worker can help patients navigate the complex emotions and issues of cancer diagnosis and treatment;
- An understanding that although more and more people who cannot be cured will live with treatment for cancer as a chronic disease, there are times when therapy no longer works. When that happens, our focus on palliative care and aggressive pain management is widely appreciated;
- An entire staff devoted to maintaining each patient’s quality of life including hugs and openness to the diversity of patient views about life, religion, health and healing — all of which supports treatment compliance.
As associate clinical professors of medicine at the Georgia Health Science University, we are pleased to help train the next generation of doctors. Along with our patients and families, we hope to inspire the best and the brightest of them to join us in the challenging world of oncology and hematology patient care and research.
Finally, like our patients, their families and friends, we love Northeast Georgia and its people. This is our home, too, and we are invested in it for the long term.