There’s no going it alone when it comes to cancer. Getting treatment means you’re going to meet lots of new people.

It’s an aspect of cancer care that many patients find surprising, and for some, perhaps even overwhelming. Many pairs of helping hands join to form a dedicated team that surrounds patients with specialized and, ideally, integrated support.

Lab technicians, business office representatives, nurses, appointment schedulers, social workers, oncologists, and others have very different roles. But they share a common, committed sense of purpose that puts a patient’s total needs in the forefront of every aspect of care. To deliver the best care, it is essential that the many right hands always know what the many left hands are doing. Decisions about what to do should result from considering and balancing the patient’s clinical, personal, emotional, financial, and environmental circumstances – while also respecting a fully informed patient’s own values and wishes.

In the practice I’m associated with, Texas Oncology, this is the guiding principle that constitutes the culture of cancer care that we strive to provide – a promise that we strive to keep.

We believe that a patient should expect nothing less than full support every step of the way from a united team that understands your unique challenges and needs, including:

Compassionate, patient-centered care. You’re the top priority and your voice matters. The team caring for you may include be made up of nurse practitioners, patient navigators, workers, nutrition counselors and others. They are taking care of all of you, not just your illness.

Commitment to doing the right thing. Earning the trust of patients comes from providing high quality care with integrity and accountability. You should consistently receive evidence-based care that is right for you. When a care team is dedicated to doing the right thing, you can trust that your values are honored, too.

Ever-evolving – and improving – approach to care; access to innovative treatment. The opportunity to participate in clinical trials and access innovative treatment options ensures patients receive the best care. Cancer care providers should embrace emerging ideas and the most advanced treatments and technologies available to give patients the best possible outcome.

We want cancer patients to understand the culture of our team, the shared promise to provide the best care possible, and the values that guide us.

Having access to high quality care in your community is a critical component of that promise, and the driving force in the growth of our practice, which now includes a network of more than 420 physicians in more than 175 locations across the state of Texas. With friends and family nearby, patients’ can have the support they need to fight cancer with confidence.

Suresh Ratnam, MD, FACP
Suresh Ratnam, M.D., FACP, Texas Oncology, is a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology—McAllen, 1901 South 2nd Street in McAllen, Texas. To learn more about exciting advancements in cancer treatment, visit www.TexasOncology.com or call 1-888-864-I CAN (4226).