Why Choose Us
She has cancer. It's part of her life, but not all of it. She needed people who get that, which is why she turned to Lehigh Valley Health Network. We understood her fears. Listened to her point of view. And not only gave her the most advanced surgical and treatment options, but are doing everything in our power to fight this disease with her. Because we're not just treating cancer, we're treating Donna.
Choosing a place for cancer treatment could be the most important decision of your life. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Cancer Institute is a location where clinicians of the highest caliber collaboratively conduct patient care, research and provider education at the highest level to better predict, prevent and combat the disease. LVHN is able to adopt the institute model because it has the necessary infrastructure, programs and partnerships in place to help people stay healthy and provide the most advanced treatment available when needed. You can be confident in knowing you have access to hundreds of lifesaving and breakthrough clinical trials through LVHN Cancer Institute’s partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute (MSK) and other clinical relationships.
- We provide compassionate care and surround you with a multidisciplinary team to guide you through your cancer journey.
- Our doctors are invited to speak as experts at national and international cancer conferences.
- We use PET-CT precise diagnostic testing for more accurate treatment. This technology provides critical information after a single, quick exam to help your physician diagnose cancer, determine an effective treatment plan and monitor its success.
- Our leading edge 64-slice CT scanner provides unparalleled three-dimensional images of your body.
- We use digital mammography, breast MRI and tomosynthesis that provides the highest quality breast images for more accurate diagnosis.
- We are the first in the area to offer the faster, more precise Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ for brain and spine tumors. Our treatment teams – a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist and medical physicist – have offered Gamma Knife surgery since 2004.
- We use advanced linear accelerators such as Varian Trilogy and TrueBeam with RapidArc and cone-beam CT and respiratory gating to provide radiation therapy. Our linear accelerators target radiation in a highly focused beam, destroying cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. Gamma Knife Perfexion radiosurgery is also available in the Cancer Center at LVH-CC and we offer High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy used to treat breast, uterine, lung, esophageal, cervical and other cancers. This offers the widest range of treatment delivery options.
- We develop personalized treatment plans based on the genetic makeup of your body so we target your tumor.
- We have a comprehensive cancer risk and genetic assessment program so you can learn about your risk for cancers such as breast, ovarian, uterine, colon-rectal, prostate and melanoma.
- Our skilled surgeons offer robotic surgery with the da Vinci® S and Si HD Surgical Systems. Robotic surgery gives our surgeons the ability to perform complex and delicate surgery. The scarring is minimal, and many patients have less pain after surgery, returning to work within weeks. All of these benefits lead to a faster recovery with an improved overall patient experience.
- By integrating computer-enhanced technology with our surgeons' skill, robotic surgery offers patients the latest in surgical innovation, often with improved patient outcomes when compared to traditional techniques.
Paxman Scalp Cooling System
We are the only health system in the region to offer the Paxman Scalp Cooling System (cooling cap), an FDA-approved hair loss prevention technology for patients with solid tumors who are undergoing chemotherapy. (NOTE: Paxman Scalp Cooling System is not for use with patients with leukemia or other blood cancers, or for those with other contraindicated conditions.) Paxman utilizes a tight-fitting head cap along with a device that circulates coolant through it. When the cooling cap is used as directed (30 minutes before infusion, during chemotherapy infusion and a maximum of 90 minutes after infusion), it helps prevent chemotherapy-induced alopecia (hair loss), by up to 50 percent, depending on the chemotherapy agent. Success rates vary and 50 percent hair retention is considered successful.
At this time, this device is not yet covered by insurance and is an out-of-pocket expense to the patient. If you choose to order a Paxman Scalp Cooling System, you (or a family member/friend) will be responsible for managing the scalp cooling part of the treatment while at the infusion center.
Continuously since 2005, Lehigh Valley Health Network has been an accredited cancer program through the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer® (CoC), a designation only granted when a facility voluntarily commits to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment, while also complying with standards established by the CoC.
At a CoC-accredited hospital, such as Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg, patients will experience a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team approach to care. Patient education and engagement are attributes of cancer care at a CoC-accredited site, as is a balanced approach to treatment plans that utilize both evidence-based, best-of-practice care as well as access to new therapies through clinical trials. Palliative care and ongoing survivorship programs also are hallmarks of CoC-accredited programs, as found here at LVHN.
LVHN also has been distinguished by the CoC with an Outstanding Achievement Award from 2006 to 2008. To receive an Outstanding Achievement Award, our facilities were evaluated by an independent physician surveyor. Of the 29 areas of compliance that had to be met (under the categories of community outreach, quality improvement, research, clinical management, cancer data management and cancer committee leadership,) seven of those 29 standards needed to attain an even higher level of commendation.
Lehigh Valley Health Network is recognized among other Outstanding Achievement Award recipients that have also met the rigorous standards, including teaching hospitals, NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals and Network Cancer Programs.
- Breast Health Services at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH) and LVH–Pocono were named Certified Quality Breast Centers of Excellence™ in the National Quality Measure for Breast Centers (NQMBC) by the National Consortium of Breast Centers. In doing so, these locations are the only comprehensive centers in Pennsylvania to earn Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence designations.
- Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest and Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg have been awarded a three-year accreditation in radiation oncology by the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR seal of accreditation represents the highest level of quality and patient safety in radiation oncology. It is awarded only to facilities meeting specific practice guidelines and technical standards developed by ACR after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs all are assessed.
- Lehigh Valley Health Network has earned accreditation from the American College of Radiology (ACR) for breast mammography. Accreditation is required for all mammogram facilities in the United States under the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA). To achieve accreditation, benchmarks must be met regarding the personnel who perform mammography as well as those who are qualified to read the images. In addition, equipment used for imaging must meet all FDA standards and regulations and be regularly inspected and evaluated.
- LVHN Breast Health Services is also designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the ACR. This accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR practice guidelines and technical standards, not only in mammography, but in breast ultrasound, including ultrasound-guided breast biopsy, stereotactic breast biopsy and breast MRI. This achievement is earned following a successful peer-review evaluation conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are all assessed through this voluntary-participation accreditation program.
- Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Cancer Center was one of 21 sites in the United States selected to be part of the National Cancer Institute’s Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP) (April 2010 to June 2014) to deliver superior quality and coordinated cancer care, bring the nation’s newest treatments to our patients through clinical trials, and to decrease the barriers to care in our community.
- Eight of our doctors also have earned COEMIG™ designation from the AAGL (American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists), whose mission is advancing minimally invasive gynecology worldwide. The COEMIG designation reflects their significant experience performing minimally invasive gynecologic procedures, and their professional commitment to patient education, safety and quality improvement.
- Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Breast Health Services is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Earning accreditation from the NAPBC demonstrates that LVHN upholds the NAPBC standards by offering patients a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease, as well as providing patients with comprehensive care encompassing current and leading-edge treatments. To ensure NAPBC standards are being met, an on-site survey is conducted. Once selected for accreditation, centers voluntarily agree to maintain their high level of clinical care and undergo re-certification every three years.
- Breast Health Services at Lehigh Valley Health Network is a certified quality breast center with the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers™ Program (NQMBC™) administered by the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Inc. NQMBC is a voluntary participation program focused on the tracking and sharing of quality measures, such as patient satisfaction, timeliness of care for imaging, biopsies and surgery, as well as complication rates. The primary focus is on providing each patient with the highest quality of care through shared learning.
As a certified quality breast center, LVHN Breast Health Services supplies data for at least 75 percent of the quality measures. The benefit to patients is that with more than 1,000 member organizations tracking similar data in a secure database, the breast centers can compare quality outcomes and seek ways to improve patient care and satisfaction.
- LVPG Hematology Oncology actively participates in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) QOPI® Certification Program (QCP™) and has been continuously certified since 2011. This program recognizes medical oncology and hematology oncology practices that are committed to delivering the highest quality of cancer care by maintaining focus on indicators of quality patient care. The QCP evaluates each practice’s performance in areas that affect patient care and safety by requiring practice participation in a twice yearly data collection to measure outcomes against more than 850 other participating hematology oncology groups in the United States. Through their secure, HIPAA-compliant site, best practices are shared to improve patient care across the U.S.
- Highmark Blue Shield (Highmark) has named Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest as a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers, focusing on complex inpatient and surgical care.
- We will care for you with kindness, compassion and knowledge. Our doctors want to make sure you are comfortable with your decision in your heart as well as in your mind.
- Multidisciplinary consultation teams will guide you through treatment options for breast and lung cancer and recommend the best course of care.
- In some situations, you will be given a navigator, who will support you and your family. Your patient navigator can answer your questions or talk about your concerns, gather information, help you obtain medical records and assist you when you make difficult decisions.
- We have a caring support team that includes bilingual financial counselors and social workers, genetic counselors and others who will be present for you throughout your cancer journey.
Pennsylvania Health Care Quality Alliance (PHCQA) quality measures
Lehigh Valley Hospital and LVH-Muhlenberg exceed the standards and state and national averages in PHCQA quality measures.
We have experience in your kind of cancer.
Last year the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) cancer center team cared for more than 3,300 new patients – and we have experience with virtually every kind of cancer like yours. We have the resources to develop specialty programs to combat cancers and to attract doctors who are leaders in their fields, bringing even more experience to your cancer care.
When you are faced with a cancer diagnosis, it is important to understand your options. At LVHN, we offer a multidisciplinary team approach to your care. This means you will have access to doctors and support staff that understand the facets of your condition and can provide you with the information you need to make important decisions. A Multi-Disciplinary Consultation (MDC) team coordinates all of your oncology team members through one appointment and can be used as a primary appointment for treatment discussions or as a second opinion service. A nurse navigator will coordinate your MDC appointment, make additional appointments, gather records, answer your questions or your family’s questions, explain the treatment plan recommended by the team and stay with you through treatment completion.
We offer MDC services for:
- Breast cancer
- Upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers: Pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, hepatobiliary system cancer (bile ducts, gallbladder and/or liver), and stomach cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
In early 2016, LVHN will begin offering MDC care coordination for patients with skin and soft tissue cancers.
Learn about Lehigh Valley Health Network's (LVHN) Cancer Center in this new publication. You'll learn about statistics from 2017, as well as many facts about our cancer program, including:
MSK enhancements in 2017
LVHN’s relationship with MSK resulted in several improvements in our ability to serve our patients:
- LVHN’s cancer institute aligned with MSK to initiate site-specific disease management teams (DMTs). Each DMT is comprised of clinicians who specialize in a particular type of cancer care. Our clinical providers work closely with their MSK counterparts, including on individual patient cases.
- Opened eight (8) new MSK clinical trials.
Elite Cancer Trials
LVHN participates in elite cancer trials, including the two below:
- Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR)
The TAPUR study provides eligible patients with medication not yet approved by the FDA for their particular cancer type and collects data on the clinical response. LVHN is one of only two TAPUR sites in Pennsylvania.
LVHN patients ages 18 and older with recurrent glioblastoma may be eligible for the CAPTIVE study. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is the only hospital in the region participating in the trial, which is sponsored by biotechnology company DNAtrix in conjunction with Merck.
Caring for Many
- We treated more than 3,500 patients in 2016.
- The most commonly treated cancers were breast, lung, colon-rectal, prostate, blood and bone marrow.
- Throughout 2016, we had more than 50 active clinical trials.
In January 2017, Pocono Medical Center merged with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to become Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Pocono, building on more than 90 years of providing high quality health care “close to home.” LVHN’s mission “to heal, comfort, and care for the members of our communities…” is consistent with the community-focused traditions of Pocono Health System. The Dale and Frances Hughes Cancer Center was opened in June, 2012 and is a 58,000 square foot comprehensive cancer center seeing over 600 analytic cancer cases annually. At the Cancer Center, our mission is to provide the most technologically advanced cancer therapy and treatment in order to offer every patient the optimal chance for cure. Our team of experienced physicians and staff are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, to bring the most recent medical advances close to home. Attention will be given to the medical, emotional, financial, nutritional and psychological needs of each patient and their family.
- Battling Cancer as a Couple: Robert and Wendy Keim Rely on Each Other
- The Power of Hopefulness Carried Kim Mucci Through Cancer
- Staying Active Helps Senior Athlete Battle Cancer
View additional patient success stories on the "Why Choose Us" pages in the cancer-specific journeys.