Cancer Care

Cancer Commission

3 Days from Diagnosis to Options

After a cancer diagnosis the last thing you want is to sit around waiting to hear from your oncologist. So we made a promise. When a patient receives a diagnosis of cancer, we promise that within three days our cancer team and oncologist in Jonesboro, Arkansas will be back in touch with treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy to help you start regaining control of your life. It’s a rapid response team approach that really makes a difference, and it’s just one of many innovations that make our oncologists at the St. Bernards Cancer Center the best choice for cancer care in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Plus, we’re going to team you up with a professional Cancer Navigator, someone who can guide you through a sometimes complicated healthcare system; someone who will be there not just to hold your hand, but to help you find answers, schedule appointments and coordinate care with all the chemotherapy and radiation oncologists on your team.

Our cancer treatment center in Jonesboro, Arkansas deploys the best options for battling cancer. With the latest technologies in chemotherapy and radiation treatment, compassionate Cancer Navigators and innovations like “3 Days from Diagnosis to Options,” we’re a nationally recognized cancer treatment center and your best choice for cancer care in Northeast Arkansas.

Download a brochure to read the radiation oncology, infusion therapy, and other services provided at St. Bernards Cancer Center.

General Information

Cancer is characterized by an abnormal growth of cells. Our cells are constantly dividing and multiplying in order to keep us healthy, but when something goes wrong and those cells grow at a rapid rate, it’s called cancer or malignancy.

More than 100 types of cancer can cause cells in a part of your body to grow out of control. Some of the most common types of cancers include breast, skin, lung, colon, prostate and bladder. Symptoms vary widely based on the type of cancer, and treatments can include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

The earlier cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances of beating it. Some cancers can be detected with routine self-exams, such as feeling for abnormalities in the breast or noticing an irregular mole or blemish on the skin. If cancer is suspected, an oncologist will conduct a thorough physical exam and complete medical history. Then, the oncologist may order lab studies of blood, urine or stool to detect any abnormalities that indicate cancer.

If a tumor is suspected, imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds and endoscopic exams help determine the location and size of the growth. To confirm a tumor, a biopsy is performed in which a tissue sample is surgically removed and studied under a microscope to check for cancer cells.

Once cancer has been diagnosed, it’s important to seek treatment from an established and credible oncologist and cancer center. For that, you have to go no farther than the St. Bernards Cancer Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

St. Bernards Cancer Center

"If you are looking for comprehensive, compassionate cancer care, the Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center is the place to be."
– Michael Givens, Administrator

The Cancer Center is the first facility of its kind in the region, brought to Jonesboro, Arkansas by St. Bernards in response to a need recognized in the community—the need for state-of-the-art cancer care right here at home.

In order to build the area’s first cancer treatment center, generous individuals, businesses and groups were called upon to support a capital campaign led by the St. Bernards Development Foundation.

As one of our four Centers of Excellence, the St. Bernards Cancer Center is committed to using the most innovative procedures and technology to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

St. Bernards Cancer Center

225 E. Jackson, Jonesboro
870.207.8177

Cancer Navigation Team

Cancer Navigation Team:

     St. Bernards Cancer Center - Cancer Navigator 
     Angie Brady, LMSW
     870.207.8210

 
 

The Cancer Navigation Team can help you by:

  • Act as a liaison between you and other team members
  • Advocating on your behalf to enhance your communication with healthcare staff and providers
  • Guiding you through the health care system
  • Helping you arrange for appropriate services so you can keep your healthcare appointments
  • Helping you arrange screening services
  • Helping you find answers to questions and concerns
  • Helping you find any financial assistance available
  • Helping you with after care planning (Survivorship)
  • Offer emotional support to you and your family
  • Providing education and information
  • Streamlining your healthcare appointments
  • Working with you to find the resources and support you need

      St. Bernards Cancer Center - Cancer Dietitian 
      Briana Reynolds RD, LD
      870.207.8178

 

The Cancer Dietitian can help you by:

  • Assesses your individual nutritional status prior to and throughout cancer treatments
  • Calculates your individual nutritional needs based on physical status and diagnosis
  • Helps to educate patients and families to an optimal diet regimen through cancer treatments
  • Provides medical nutrition therapy through cancer treatment modalities, with interventions for specific diagnosis or treatment related complications (i.e. weight loss, loss of appetite, taste changes, mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, etc.)
  • Assists your medical team to develop specific nutritional plans for patients requiring enteral nutrition (tube feedings), as well as acts as a liaison between patients and DME companies
  • Acts as a guide for patients and families to explain popular diets presented through the media
  • Provides patients and families with education and recommendations for general, healthy balanced diets to prevent cancer recurrence through survivorship
  • Educates your healthcare team on the risk factors for malnutrition

 

Services & Technology

"We offer the highest quality of care using the latest technology." – Dr. John K. Lynch, Radiation Oncologist

A cancer diagnosis will take time to absorb, but you will soon need to make some decisions about your cancer treatment. St. Bernards Cancer Care Hematology/Oncology provides services for the evaluation, treatment and management of this disease. Full services are offered at both of our locations, including:

  • Cancer Navigation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical Trials
  • Genetic Testing and Counseling
  • Guest Housing
  • Hormone Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Molecular Targeted Treatment
  • Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Conference
  • Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Conference
  • Nutrition
  • Pallative Care
  • PET/CT
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Survivorship

Radiation Oncology Therapy

St. Bernards has two board certified/eligible oncologists and a dietician on staff. Drs. John K. Lynch and Christian Okoye are our radiation oncologists and they lead our specially trained cancer care team in diagnosing, planning treatments and delivering radiation treatments and support services to patients with a wide variety of cancers.

The cancer care team includes radiation oncologists, radiation physicists, certified medical dosimetrists, radiation therapists, nurses—both registered nurses and nurse practitioners—and cancer navigators. They work closely with radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons and others in a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. For more information on radiation oncology call, 870.207.8210.

Hematology/Oncology

The physicians at St. Bernards Cancer Center diagnose, evaluate and provide treatment strategies for patients with cancer and disorders of the blood and bone marrow. Our medical oncologists and their staff of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and cancer navigator work to provide best-in-class care and treatment for patients with cancer and work collaboratively to ensure a comprehensive approach to treatment for each patient.

State-of-the-Art Technology

One of the most important aspects of cancer care is the technology used to diagnose and treat various forms of the disease. Through a continuing program of needs assessment and planning, St. Bernards updates equipment, regularly replacing good technology with great technology, including:

  • Two simulators that plan treatments, with one dedicated computer tomography (CT) based simulator.
  • Two linear accelerators, the newest of which is equipped with image-guided radiation therapy tools, enhancing our ability to locate and treat tumors with radiation therapy while giving the greatest possible protection to surrounding normal tissue. This Clinac iX linear accelerator helps verify patient position and precise tumor position at the time of each radiation therapy treatment, allowing direct bursts of radiation to a tumor at just the right time during a patient’s normal breathing cycle.
  • Advanced treatment options include both Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).
  • Latest in treatment planning computers with 2D/3D and inverse planning.
  • Latest technology in PET CT scanner with excellent image quality and precision and reduced exam time for patients.
  • Both low dose rate (LDR) and high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy are used.
  • Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

Oncology Data Center

After a patient is discharged, information about his or her quality of life after cancer treatment as well as additional treatment is stored in records at the St. Bernards Oncology Data Center. Information is then published in an annual cancer report containing types of cancers seen, number of patients, origin of patients and other information.

Data collected by St. Bernards Oncology Data Center is also submitted electronically to the Arkansas Central Cancer Registry, allowing for comparative analysis with other hospitals of similar size as well as quality analysis.

Such information aids in the research and development of cancer treatment modalities. Annual lifetime follow-up is conducted on every patient diagnosed with cancer to ensure medical surveillance as well as to produce data regarding survival rates and treatment effectiveness over a continuum of care and time.

Data has been entered on more than 31,095 patients since the registry began in 1987. For more information, call 870.207.8210.

Physicians

At St. Bernards, the cancer program is directed by exceptional physicians and oncologist who understand the best options for battling cancers and who use an integrated approach, guiding patients and their families through diagnosis and treatment.

Oncology/Hematology

Oncology involves the diagnosis and treatment of malignancy (cancer) using chemotherapy. Hematology is a subspecialty involving diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders.

Marc Monte, M.D.

  • Medical School: Medical Faculty of Montreal University
  • Residency: Henri-Mondor Hospital

Mazen Khalil, M.D.

  • Medical School: University of Tishreen School of Medicine, Lattakia, Syria
  • Residency: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Aamer Farooq, M.D.

  • Medical School: Nishtar Medical College
  • Residency: University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncologists diagnose and treat using ionizing radiation alone or in a multi-disciplinary approach with other specialists.

John K. Lynch, D.O., Cancer Care Associates

  • Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Residency: University of Kansas School of Medicine

Christian Okoye, M.D., Cancer Care Associates

  • Medical School: University of California, San Francisco, CA
  • Residency: University Hospitals, Case Medical Center, Cleveland, OH

Gynecology Oncology

Adam C. ElNaggar, M.D., West Cancer Center, Memphis TN

  • Medical School: Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbus, OH
  • Residency: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN

Todd Tillmanns, M.D., FACOG, West Cancer Center, Memphis, TN

  • Medical School: University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Residency: Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

Treatment Planning

Our Cancer Team physicians - from radiologists, pathologists, pulmonologists, gastroentrologists, surgeons, and medical and radiation oncologists - meet on a regular basis to discuss each patient’s treatment options and determine the best and most efficient care. Multi-disciplinary care has proven to improve patient outcomes, while giving the physicians a broadened knowledge base and the opportunity to draw from each other’s special training and experience. It also determines the best treatment plan tailored to individual needs resulting in greater peace of mind for the patient.

St. Bernards Cancer Care
Doctor’s Anatomic Pathology
St. Bernards Clopton Clinic Hem/Oncology
St. Bernards Plastic Surgery
St. Bernards Surgical Associates
Associated Radiologists

Lung Cancer Screening

Nationally, it has been determined that lung cancer screening should be offered annually to adults who meet the following 4 criteria:

  1. Between the ages of 55 and 77
  2. Asymptomatic - No signs or symptoms of lung cancer. No major medical problems that would prevent cancer work-up and treatments if discovered during screening.
  3. Current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 year
  4. Tobacco smoking history of 30+ pack years

Early detection, before symptoms appear, can make all the difference in surviving lung cancer. Low Dose CT Screening is an effective way to catch lung cancer during its earliest, most curable stage.

Recent studies have shown that Low Dose CT screening can lower the risk of lung cancer deaths by 20% in people who are at risk.

Individual insurance coverage varies by carrier.

For more information about Low Dose CT, call your Lung Navigator at 870.207.8250.

Clinical Trials

Cancer treatment has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Thanks to research and clinical trials, we now have new drugs and new ways of using existing drugs.

St. Bernards Cancer Center is devoted to providing the most comprehensive treatment options to our patients. In keeping with this, a number of clinical trials are available for those patients who meet criteria and wish to participate.

Patients participating in trials often worry that they will be guinea pigs. THIS IS NOT AT ALL TRUE! Being involved in a clinical trial is something to be proud of. You are taking part in the tremendous collective effort both nationwide and worldwide to fight cancer and increase the percentages of patients who are survivors.

Whether or not your outcomes are directly affected, you are investing in future treatments that may benefit your children or grandchildren in years to come.

We may approach you about taking part in a clinical trial. If clinical trials are not discussed with you, please ask us if we have a trial that might help you in your personal battle with cancer. Help us help you, and numerous others like you, make a step toward survival.

Contact:

For more information, ask your physician or feel free to call our Clinical Research Coordinator, Amber Moon at 870.207.8177.

Hematology/Oncology: 870.207.8178
Radiation/Oncology: 870.207.8210

Additional Links

Support Groups

Cancer Support Group

This group is for patients with any and all types of cancer. This group meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at noon. 

Classroom 3
St. Bernards Cancer Center
225 E. Jackson
Jonesboro, AR

Multiple Myeloma Support Group

This group is for patients with Multiple Myeloma. This group meets the second Thursday of every month at 6:00pm.

Jonesboro First Assembly of God
1404 Stone Street
Jonesboro, AR

Contact Tanja Mead at 870.897.1089.

Woman to Woman Cancer Support Group

This group meets the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm.

Arkansas Methodist Hospital
Professional Office Building Auditorium
900 W. Kingshighway
Paragould AR

Contact Carrie Rowland at 870.239.7826 for more information.
*Date and time is subject to change.

Peer Network Northeast Jonesboro
This group meets the first Thursday of every month at 6:00pm.

UAMS Center on Aging Northeast
303 E. Matthews
Jonesboro, AR
Contact: 501.379.8027
Survivor-Mentors can be made available 800.338.1383.


Prostate Cancer Support Group

Meets every Thursday at 6:00pm
Peer Network Northeast – Jonesboro
UAMS Center on Aging Northeast (303 East Matthews, Jonesboro, AR)
Contact: 501.379.8027
 

Meets every Wednesday at 6:00pm
Peer Network – Fort Smith
Reynolds Cancer Support House (3324 South M Street, Fort Smith, AR)
Contact: 501.748.1249