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, a doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam and complete medical history. Then, the doctor 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 cancer center. For that, you have to go no farther than the Ben E. Owens Cancer Treatment Center at St. Bernards in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
"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 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
The Cancer Navigation Team can help you by:
- Guiding you through the health care system
- Advocating on your behalf to enhance your communication with healthcare staff and providers
- Working with you to find the resources and support you need
- Helping you find any financial assistance available
- Helping you arrange screening services
- Streamlining your healthcare appointments
- Helping you arrange for appropriate services so you can keep your healthcare appointments
- Offer emotional support to you and your family
- Helping you find answers to questions and concerns
- Act as a liaison between you and other team members
- Providing education and information
- Helping you with after care planning (Survivorship)
Cancer Navigation Team:
St. Bernards Imaging Center
Dee Collins, RNP
St. Bernards Clopton Clinic
Jana Haskins, LCSW
St. Bernards Radiation Oncology
Angie Brady, LMSW
"We offer the highest quality of care using the latest technology." – Dr. John K. Lynch, Radiation Oncologist
St. Bernards is the only medical center in Northeast Arkansas with two board certified radiation oncologists on staff. Drs. John K. Lynch and John Allgood lead our specially trained cancer care team in diagnosing, planning treatments and delivering 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 radiologists, medical oncologists, surgeons and others in a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment. For more information call, (870) 972-4510.
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 a dedicated computed 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 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 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.
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
- 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.
Nuclear medicine is a specialized area of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (given either orally or intravenously) to examine an organ’s structure and metabolic function, and is used to:
- Scan organs for abnormalities
- Evaluate the spread of cancer
- Locate infection
- Identify blood clots in the lungs
Sophisticated Scanning Technology
St. Bernards Medical Center’s nuclear medicine technologists utilize advanced technology that delivers results quickly so doctors can begin treatment as soon as possible. We offer a wide range of diagnostic imaging services, including:
- Heart scans, including cardiolite and myocardial perfusion scans
- Red cell mass studies, to diagnose blood diseases or evaluate blood loss
- Renal scans, to examine kidney function
- Thyroid uptake scans
- Tumor imaging
- Whole-body bone scans
- Lung Scans
- Gallbladder scans and gastric emptying studies
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 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 24,000 patients since the registry began in 1987. For more information, call (870) 972-4510.
For your convenience, St. Bernards offers to Infusion Center locations.
Jonesboro, AR 72401
Paragould Medical Park
4000 Linwood Drive
Paragould, AR 72450
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8a.m.- 4:30p.m.
To schedule an appointment:
Oncology Clinic: (870) 239-8644
Fax: (870) 239-8657
For Questions call:
Sheila Throgmartin, RN at (870) 207-4365.
St. Bernards sponsors a variety of community-based cancer screening and education programs. Some screenings are designed specifically to detect cancer, while others may simply include kits patients can use in the privacy of their homes to detect hidden blood in the stool.
For more than a decade, St. Bernards has sponsored a program offering free prostate cancer screenings for men between the ages of 50 and 70. Held each September, the prostate screenings include participation by Jonesboro urologists who volunteer their time to conduct digital rectal exams at no charge. Blood is drawn for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) tests.
To contact any of the Urologists above, please call (870) 932-1560.
St. Bernards sponsors numerous activities and events directed toward breast cancer awareness and takes part in a number of statewide programs designed to deliver breast health services to women in areas of Northeast Arkansas in which those services are not typically available.
St. Bernards operates a Mobile Women’s Health Unit equipped with a state-of-the-art digital mammography unit, taking screening mammogram services to underserved areas in Northeast Arkansas.
St. Bernards also partners with the physicians of St. Bernards Medical Group (STMG) in sponsoring the highly successful STMG Health & Fitness Expo each spring. The medical center directs the program of free screenings that includes skin cancer screenings, performed by a board certified dermatologist and PSA testing for men. Through funds from a grant from the Arkansas Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the Cure, personnel from the Imaging Center and physicians who specialize in women’s health issues conducted breast screenings for women with no health insurance who meet specific criteria.
- David H. Weingold, M.D.
- Bradley A. White, M.D.
At St. Bernards Center of Excellence, the cancer program is directed by exceptional physicians who understand the best options for battling cancers and who use an integrated approach, guiding patients and their families through diagnosis and treatment.
Oncology involves the diagnosis and treatment of malignancy (cancer) using chemotherapy. Hematology is a subspecialty involving diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders.
- Medical School: University of Tishreen School of Medicine, Lattakia, Syria
- Residency: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
- Medical School: Medical Faculty of Montreal University
- Residency: Henri-Mondor Hospital
Radiation oncologists diagnose and treat using ionizing radiation alone or in a multi-disciplinary approach with other specialists.
- Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Residency: University of Kansas School of Medicine
- Medical School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Residency: University of Kansas School of Medicine
St. Bernards is the first facility in the region to offer a comprehensive multi-disciplinary team approach to cancer treatment. This team, made up of Radiation Oncologists, Medical Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists, Surgeons, other specialty physicians as well as nurses and cancer navigators, meet weekly to discuss and plan the best and most appropriate course of treatment. This approach has been proven to improve patient care, ease patient fears and most importantly, improve outcomes by guiding and analyzing the patient’s care from diagnosis to treatment and eventually to survivorship.
St. Bernards Cancer Care
Doctor’s Anatomic Pathology
St. Bernards Clopton Clinic Hem/Oncology
St. Bernards Plastic Surgery
St. Bernards Surgical Associates
"St. Bernards has a program of women’s diagnostic services that stands head and shoulders above others in this region. We have been and will continue to be at the forefront through awareness programs, technology and the delivery of the highest quality of care for women in our area." – Michael Givens, Administrator
The St. Bernards Outpatient Imaging Center offers the latest technology in the most convenient way possible. As the most advanced imaging facility in the region, we provide entirely digital imaging services and even have a wing dedicated to women’s services in order to provide more privacy and specialized care during testing and exams.
Located on the Matthews Medical Mile, the St. Bernards Imaging Center has a central location and a large parking lot allowing our patients plenty of room and convenience.
1144 E. Matthews
Monday—Friday, 7 a.m.—7 p.m.
Full-Field Digital Mammography
An annual mammogram is one of the most important exams for women age 40 and older. At St. Bernards, we offer full-field digital mammography that produces superior images so our radiologists have the ability to zoom in and look closely at areas of special interest.
Three digital mammography units are located in the Imaging Center, which allows us to speed up the length of time it takes to schedule breast imaging services. Plus, a fourth unit is located in the St. Bernard’s Mobile Women’s Health Unit (a large pink RV-type van) that travels to various clinics, industry work sites and public events to provide breast care to those who may not have easy access to such services.
Magnetic Resonance Breast Imaging
St. Bernards is the first in the area to offer this supplemental tool to mammography. Bilateral enhanced breast MRI is used to investigate breast concerns detected with a mammogram or other imaging services. It’s also useful for staging breast cancer, determining appropriate treatments and follow-up after treatment.
Stereotactic Biopsy System
This technology allows for a needle biopsy of lesions that previously required surgery, which shortens procedure time and can sometimes provide a preliminary answer on the same day.
Our dedicated team of registered technologists specializes in breast, abdomen, pelvic, thyroid, obstetrics and vascular studies. Ultrasound assisted procedures at the Imaging Center include breast core biopsy, breast mammotome biopsy, breast needle localization, thyroid biopsy, and cyst aspiration.
Mobile Women’s Health Unit
The Mobile Women’s Health Unit travels to facilities and areas in which women may not otherwise have the opportunity to partake of prevention services, such as mammography. An education coordinator travels with the unit, providing education to facilities visited in the areas of health.
Breast Health Navigator
At St. Bernards, no woman ever has to face breast cancer alone. The Imaging Center provides the region’s only breast health navigator—a registered nurse practitioner with breast health specialist certification—who assists patients with one-on-one care from screening through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Genetic Testing & Counseling
In addition to imaging services, we also offer genetic testing for hereditary risk assessment to determine whether you carry mutations of BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which put you at a higher risk for developing breast or ovarian cancer.
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.
Health Q&A: healthlibrary.epnet.com
Mayo Clinic: www.mayoclinic.com
National Cancer Institute: www.cancer.gov
American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org
Susan G. Komen: ww5.komen.org
Arkansas Prostate Cancer Foundation: www.arprostatecancer.org