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 will be back in touch with treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation 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 Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment 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.

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 Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center at St. Bernards in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment 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 Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment 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 Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center is committed to using the most innovative procedures and technology to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center
(870) 207-8177

Cancer Navigation Team

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

Cancer Navigation Team:

     St. Bernards Cancer Center - Cancer Navigator 
     Jana Haskins, LCSW
     870 207-8178

 

     St. Bernards Cancer Center - Cancer Navigator 
     Angie Brady, LMSW
     870 207-8210

 

      St. Bernards Cancer Center - Cancer Dietician 
      Briana Reynolds RD, LD
      870 207-8178

 

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 GI Cancer Conference
  • Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Conference
  • Nutrition
  • Pallative Care
  • PET/CT
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Survivorship

Radiation Oncology Therapy

St. Bernards has three board certified/eligible oncologists and a dietician on staff. Drs. John K. Lynch and John Allgood 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.

Paragould Medical Park
4000 Linwood Drive
Paragould, AR 72450
844 684-0222

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

Guest Accommodations

St. Bernards has Guest House rooms where family members of patients can stay at a minimal cost overnight in order to be close to their family member who is hospitalized. Within that facility are a number of rooms made available for cancer patients who receive treatments four or five days a week.

Located on the hospital grounds, Guest House rooms may be reserved for a minimal fee. In order to provide comfort and convenience, the following amenities are available for our guests:

  • Full bath with wheelchair access
  • Television
  • Phone
  • Washer and dryer on the same floor
  • An indoor walkway to the parking garage and easy access to all patient facilities

For more information, call (870) 207-4100.

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 

John W. Allgood, Jr., M.D., 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

Urologists

To contact any of the Urologists above, please call (870) 932-1560.

Dermatologists

Breast Assured Program

The Breast Assured Program is grant-funded and provides women who do not have health insurance or qualify for Breastcare, Medicare or Medicaid the opportunity to seek breast care. Services covered include digital screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds and biopsy services if needed.

Interested women may apply by requesting forms when registering for a mammogram at the St. Bernards Imaging Center. To inquire about qualifications and coverage prior to your appointment, call (870) 207-8000.

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. 

Patient’s 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

St. Bernards Cancer Support Group

Our support group is open to anyone who is living with cancer and cancer survivors. Joining a cancer support group can help to manage the wide range of feelings and fears that are experienced during and after treatment. This group meets the second Thursday of every month at 6:00pm. 

St. Bernards Health & Wellness
1416 East Matthews
Jonesboro, AR

Contact Jana Haskins, Cancer Navigator at (870) 680-0437 for more information.
*Date and time is subject to change.

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. Kings Hwy, Paragould AR

Contact Carrie Rowland at (870) 239-7826 for more information.
*Date and time is subject to change.

Prostate Cancer Support Group

Peer Network Ft. Smith
This group meets every Wednesday at 6:00pm.

Reynolds Cancer Support House
3324 South M Street
Ft. Smith, AR
Contact: (501) 748-1249

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 1-800-338-1383.