Comprehensive Care

National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive cancer centers must deliver the highest quality integrated cancer diagnosis and treatment. They must serve the people in their communities. And they must go through the rigorous re-certification process every five years. The highest quality care means the right treatments in the right order to give you the best chance for overcoming your cancer. It means access to clinical trials which use the latest scientific research. And it means combining all parts of your care and support seamlessly.

Diagnosis

Radiology

Our Radiology team is specialty-trained in cancer imaging. They work closely with the cancer care teams to develop treatment plans. They take part in clinic consultations when needed. Our team offers comprehensive diagnostic imaging, including:

  • multi-detector x-ray computed tomography (CT)
  • positron emission
    tomography (PET)
  • PET with diagnostic contrast enhanced CT
  • 3.0 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging (3.0 T MRI)

Pathology

Pathologists measure tissue samples in many ways to arrive at a cancer diagnosis. Our team performs genetic and genomic analyses, too. Their work helps your cancer team link you with the right drugs and treatments.

Treatment

Your treatment plan may include all or some of the choices below. Your
team will work together to design a plan that will give you the best chance to overcome your cancer. They will take your preferences and wishes into account and will adjust your plan if needed as you go through treatment.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy uses drugs to cure cancer, slow its growth, keep it from spreading or relieve some of the symptoms it causes. The drugs your team prescribes will depend on your cancer and your care plan.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses beams of high energy radiation to kill cancer cells. The radiation beams travel through the body along different paths, but all the paths go through the tumor, giving the tumor cells a higher radiation dose.  Our team uses many different methods to get the most radiation to the tumor, while getting the least radiation that they can to normal tissues.

Cancer Surgery

Your care team may suggest cancer surgery to remove part of the tumor to test it. They may suggest surgery to remove the tumor completely. You may choose to have reconstructive surgery after your cancer surgery.

Cancer Genetic Assessment

Some cancers run in families. To learn if your cancer runs in your family, your care team may suggest a cancer genetic assessment. If cancer runs in your family, your team may adjust your treatment to deal with your cancer.

Research

Our NCI Comprehensive designation means we are at the forefront of turning the most promising scientific advances into treatment for people with cancer.

Basic and Translational Research

Our 130 researchers and physician scientists work with New Mexico’s national laboratories and universities around the region, nation and world to break new ground in understanding and combating cancer. These discoveries benefit New Mexicans.

Cancer research at the UNM Cancer Center is organized into four programs. Each program works with our Clinical Research Office to translate discoveries in basic science into cancer treatments.

  • The Cancer Control Research Program focuses
    on controlling cancer by identifying risk factors and developing interventions to prevent cancer, promote screening and improve cancer outcomes.
  • The Cancer Genetics, Epigenetics and Genomics Research Program studies gene expression and how environmental exposures can increase cancer risk by making the genome less stable.
  • The Translational Cancer Biology & Signaling Research Program studies gene expression and how environmental exposures can increase cancer risk by making the genome less stable.
  • The Cancer Therapeutics: Technology, Discovery & Targeted Delivery Research Program develops cancer drugs that kill cancer cells while causing few side effects and develops methods to find cancer cells wherever they lurk.

Clinical Research

Clinical research helps to create new standards in cancer care, which help to bring life-saving discoveries to everyone. Clinical trials carefully and completely test new treatments in people. Early phase clinical trials test new treatments in people for the first time. Later phases test how well the treatment compares to existing standards of care.

The UNM Cancer Center offers clinical trials to everyone in New Mexico through the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance. And, every patient at UNM Cancer Center may elect to join the Total Cancer Care protocol to donate their tissues and possibly be matched to clinical trials.

Cancer Support

Cancer affects every part of your life. We understand that. That’s why we offer a range of services to help you and your family get through treatment.

Patient Services handles registration, scheduling, medical records and other administrative parts of your care.

Patient Financial Services supports billing questions, financial assistance and prior authorizations for your care.

Patient & Family Support Services offers patient navigation, oncology social work, chaplain services, interpreter services and psychology services.

The Pharmacy Team manages chemotherapy infusions
and the onsite pharmacy, where you can get all your prescriptions filled.

Nutrition Services include a consultation and ongoing support to help you eat well so that you can get through treatment.

We offer many more services within these areas. If you need any kind of help, please ask our team.