A meeting of the minds – Long Beach Medical Center provides first, second and third opinions

The MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute at Long Beach Medical Center is committed to providing patients with an individualized treatment plan to meet their unique cancer diagnosis. One of the ways the care team does this is through multi-disciplinary Treatment Planning Conferences.

At Treatment Planning Conferences, a patient’s case is discussed in complete detail, including a review of their medical imaging tests and pathology specimens. Once presented, the experts, including medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, pathologists, genetic counselors, and nurses, determine an individualized treatment plan unique to the patient following the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. NCCN guidelines are recognized as the standard for clinical care.

“In these meetings, we are able to get the opinions of multiple oncologists, surgeons and more – all at once,” says Nilesh Vora, M.D., medical director, MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute, Long Beach Medical Center. “We consult all of our medical colleagues to ensure we are taking the best approach for each patient. At Long Beach Medical Center, each patient literally gets more than 15 minds, roughly more than 50 years of experience, developing their unique plan.”

All of the cases discussed at a Treatment Planning Conference are prospective cases, meaning the treatment plan can be adjusted as needed depending on the patient’s needs and desires. With a variety of experts all in one room, patients may get up to 10 different opinions during a Treatment Planning Conference, which is easier than going to five or six different places for varying opinions. Also, since these groups are following NCCN guidelines, patients are getting evidence-based opinions on what can work in treating their cancer.

“By bringing all these disciplines together in one room, we are truly able to offer the patient a comprehensive treatment plan that cares for their mind, body and spirit,” says Dr. Vora. “We know that patients do better when they also have psychosocial support.”

Psychologists, support services and social workers also attend the Treatment Planning Conferences to ensure the patient’s mind and spirit are cared for in addition to their body. The role these experts play is to determine, in advance, the type of support a patient may need to assist with their cancer journey, like financial planning, a peer mentor, yoga, support groups and more.

“Cancer is not one size fits all,” says Dr. Vora. “Our team is driven by knowing that we can raise the bar for our patients by combining our collective expertise with the latest technology and advanced treatments.”


Learn more about the comprehensive care available at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute by visiting memorialcare.org/Cancer.

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