The dedicated blood cancer care team at Colorado Blood Cancer Institute, a part of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HealthONE’s Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in the heart of Denver, is committed to providing the best treatment to those facing blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Blood cancer care at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s includes:
- Treatment for numerous types of leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma—including ALL, AML, amyloidosis, aplastic anemia, autoimmune diseases, CLL, CML, Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, MDS and NHL and other types of blood cancer—through a multidisciplinary care team that provides a treatment plan tailored to each individual patient
- Blood and marrow or stem cell transplants
- Services for the donor during transplants
- Access to clinical trials
- Financial assistance
- Healing arts programs
- Nutritional support
- Psychosocial oncology
- Concierge services
Colorado Blood Cancer Institute
Colorado Blood Cancer Institute (CBCI), a part of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, provides comprehensive blood cancer care and is the largest and most experienced full-service blood and marrow, or stem cell, transplant program in Colorado and among the top programs in the United States.
Serviced in-house at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, the CBCI physician team has more than 150 years of experience in treating blood cancers using treatment options specifically tailored to each patient. Through Sarah Cannon, the cancer institute of HCA, patients have access to innovative clinical trials for various blood disorders.
Members of the blood cancer multi-disciplinary care team include:
- Hematologist: expert physician specializing in blood cancer care
- Advanced practice practitioner: specialist who is directly involved in nearly every aspect of your care and has extensive experience in transplant management and hematology treatment
- Oncology nurse navigator: attends all medical consultations with the patient, knows the set plan of care, educates the patient when necessary, maintains medication record, manages prescription refills, assists with appointment scheduling and remains a point of contact throughout the patient’s cancer journey
- Transplant nurse coordinator: nurse who is your guide in preparing for transplant
- Transplant nurses: transplant-trained nurses who manage your care throughout the transplant process and may administer chemotherapy, monitor your stem cells and assess and manage your daily symptoms associated with transplant
- Transplant psychologist: medical psychologist who meets with you and your family before your transplant begins to help with emotional needs and stress management
- Social worker: person who is available to you and your family to help with practical matters before, during and after transplant, such as transportation, housing, insurance, and financial concerns
- Dietitian: nutritionist who works with you during your transplant while you have special dietary restrictions you must follow while you are neutropenic (when you have an abnormally low number of white blood cells)
- Financial coordinator: staff member who works with patients, caregivers and insurance providers to help patients obtain reimbursement for the costs related to transplantation
Diagnosis and Treatment
Common symptoms before diagnosis may include easy bruising, excessive bleeding, fever or fatigue, among others. Laboratory testing, bone marrow biopsies and radiological exams are common for all types of blood cancers to confirm diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you should feel assured that our blood cancer care team at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s will take good care of you and your family.
Blood cancer treatment varies by your type of cancer, overall health, the rate of progression of your disease and many other things. It is important to trust your care team and keep an open and honest line of communication with them. Let your care team know when you experience new symptoms, or when you are feeling better or worse throughout your treatment.
Common treatments for blood cancers include:
- Watchful waiting
- Radiation therapy
- Stem cell transplantation
- Blood transfusion
- Clinical trials
It is important to remember that each blood cancer disease has a different diagnosis and treatment process. You should always feel comfortable with your oncologist, hematologist and the rest of your care team to discuss your thoughts and concerns throughout your blood cancer journey at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s.
Blood and Marrow Transplants
When you are referred to our center for a blood and marrow or stem cell transplant, you will meet with a provider and a nurse coordinator. The nurse coordinator will be your point person to help organize the necessary steps for the transplant. If an allogeneic transplant is required, additional testing will be performed to assist in locating a donor.
The stem cell transplantation process is very much like receiving a blood transfusion.