Alexander Hantel, M.D.
Director of medical oncology for Edward Cancer Center
Why he chose to specialize in oncology
I've been in oncology for 28 years. I love the fact that cancer treatments available today are exponentially increasing in terms of effectiveness, their ease for patients, and their improvement in outcomes. Also, because of the seriousness of cancer, my interaction with patients is a lot deeper. I see people at their worst and at their best. It allows me to establish patient relationships that last for years.
What cancer patients need most
Knowledge. People come to the Edward Cancer Center with preconceived notions of what cancer is. Part of what we do in the beginning is explain to patients what their disease entails, and what their future holds. Getting a grasp on what their disease means may help make their fear dissipate.
A global approach to care
We take a multifaceted approach to patient care by marshaling patients through the treatment process both medically and emotionally. The physicians provide the medical guidance, along with the nurses. Our patients receive emotional guidance from a whole team of social workers, therapists, and nutritional counselors. We also have certified oncology pharmacists who are expert in not just chemotherapy, but in medicines that minimize side effects.
An environment that inspires patients
Our patients need to keep on living, and part of our goal with the planning of both Cancer Centers was to design a place that made them feel comfortable.. This is why we designed group, semi-private, and private treatment rooms-so patients could receive treatment in their preferred setting. Also, the Cancer Centers have floor-to-ceiling windows-inviting cancer patients to look onto the world. They're not being isolated, or hidden away when they're receiving treatment.
The most up-to-date treatments in cancer medicine
On the medical oncology side, we offer the latest clinical trials available. On the radiation oncology side, we have state-of-the-art equipment with state-of-the-art planning techniques that allow us to minimize the side effects of radiation. And, now that our facility houses both radiation oncology and medical oncology-we're able to have even better interactive treatment between the two places.
The future of the Edward Cancer Center
Prior to the time we had the Cancer Center, people weren't aware that Edward had a cancer program. I think the visibility of our Cancer Centers let people know this great care is available right where they live. And, we're excited about growing our program over the next 10 to 20 years. With our new facility, we have added more subspecialty services, including gynecological oncology and we are about to add surgical oncology.