The Joan and James Vernon Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital

With recent technological advancements and improvements in early detection, diagnosis and treatment – cancer is now, more than ever, a treatable and survivable disease. The Joan and James Vernon Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital offers patients an entire realm of cancer care, expert and innovative services and advanced treatment options.

The team provides personalized care in a private and comfortable setting for cancers such as breast, prostate, lung, colorectal and gynecological malignancies. In addition, benign and malignant blood disorders such as anemia, coagulation disorders, lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia are also treated.

Specialists at the Cancer Center work in collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Radiation Oncology and numerous departments at the Hospital to provide for the specific needs of individual patients.

Comprehensive, Compassionate Cancer Care
The comprehensive medical care available for patients includes medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology and integrative support services – in a comfortable setting, close to home. With advancements in cancer therapy, it is common for patients to undergo a multi-modality treatment plan. The Cancer Center provides a convenient location for patients to receive all of their care by a team of physicians they know and trust.

The Center offers patients a soothing environment with comforting aesthetic features creating a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Patients who come to the Center experience a support system throughout their entire treatment, providing a more seamless and nurturing journey through their cancer therapy.

The medical specialists at the Vernon Cancer Center are highly trained cancer experts working together to provide advanced treatment and support for all aspects of the patient experience. Each member of the team has the same mission – providing support and helping patients and their families deal with cancer and the anxieties and concerns that go along with diagnosis and treatment.

Medical Oncology
New England Hematology and Oncology Associates (NEHOA) , a private practice collaborator located within the Center, provides advanced care from highly specialized oncologists. The medical oncology team is led by board certified physicians who treat the entire spectrum of cancer types such as breast cancer, colorectal, gynecological, lung and prostate cancers. These physicians are complemented by an experienced, specialty nursing team. Visit the homepage of the Auerbach Breast Center to learn more about our breast cancer screening and breast cancer risk assessment services.

The entire medical team, made up of hematologists, oncologists, oncology nurses, social workers and ancillary staff, use advanced protocols and technology to diagnose and treat cancer. They remain involved in all aspects of patient care – from diagnosis to treatment and during long-term, follow-up care.

Radiation Oncology
The Massachusetts General Hospital Radiation Oncology Program at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, also located within the Cancer Center, offers patients access to premier radiation oncology services and expertise.

The Radiation Oncology team is led by board certified physicians who treat a broad spectrum of cancer diagnoses and complemented by a specialty team including medical physicists, radiation therapists and oncology nurses.

The team utilizes the latest technology and equipment to plan and deliver individually tailored radiation treatment to reduce tumor volume while minimizing effects on non-cancerous tissues.

The radiation oncology services include both a linear accelerator and a CT simulator to provide advanced services to cancer patients. An on-site CT simulator provides the most accurate process available to localize, define and reconstruct a patient’s tumor in three dimensions in order to generate the best treatment plan for that patient. The linear accelerator, also known as a linac, is the device most commonly used for providing external beam radiation treatments. This technology delivers a uniform dose of high-energy X-ray to the area of the patient’s tumor to destroy the cancer cells while minimizing the impact to surrounding non-cancerous tissue. Radiation oncology services include both Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT).

Access to Integrative Support Services
Patients who come to the Vernon Cancer Center have access to the full range of integrative support services provided by a full-service hospital such as Radiology and Laboratory Services, Rehabilitation Services and Physical Therapy. These experts are dedicated to providing care for cancer patients and helping them to live life as normally as possible despite their cancer diagnosis.

To ensure coordinated delivery of patient care, the Center offers patients access to a Patient Navigator. The Navigator provides support from the point of diagnosis through the entire continuum of care and works in conjunction with the physician to review, educate, implement and evaluate services that will complement the patient’s care plan. The Patient Navigator creates awareness for patients and their families about community resources and educational programs.

The Center also offers educational and support workshops and other positive life-enhancing support services. Services for patients include:

  • Psychological and social services to help patients and their families deal with the emotional impact of the initial diagnosis and treatment.
  • Massachusetts General Hospital’s PACT (Parenting At a Challenging Time) services to help parents who are undergoing cancer treatment address the concerns of their children.
  • Nutritional support to help patients get adequate nutrition and meet their dietary needs before, during and after their treatment.
  • Specialized palliative care services that focus on the pain, symptoms and stress of a cancer diagnosis.
  • Pain management services tailored to deal with each patient’s unique diagnosis providing a better quality of life.
  • Genetics programs including Newton-Wellesley’s High Risk Assessment Program, genetics counselor, outreach and education.
  • Patients and their families have access to the Cancer Center Resource Room with computer access to the American Cancer Society and other related web sites. Patients also have access to wireless Internet service as well as options for music during treatment.
  • Mind, body and relaxation services such as Reiki and yoga.

Inpatient Care
Newton-Wellesley has a dedicated inpatient oncology unit with private patient rooms that serves as an optimal environment for cancer patients. The medical team continuously and rigorously monitors patient care and offers the highest level of premium services to its cancer patients. Patients are treated by a team of medical specialists dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of both the patient and their family. This multidisciplinary approach provides exceptional services and promotes the highest possible level of comfort and wellness for patients. Diagnostic, therapeutic, instructional and educational services are also available based on each patient’s individual needs.

Patients on the unit are cared for by dedicated oncology-trained and oncology-certified nurses with special chemotherapy and biotherapy experience. Nurses adhere to the National Oncology Nurses’ Standards to ensure patients receive advanced, compassionate cancer care during their stay.

Commitment to Excellence
The entire team at the Vernon Cancer Center is committed to delivering advanced, sophisticated treatment in a compassionate environment. From diagnosis to recovery and through long-term follow-up care, medical specialists are dedicated to supporting patients and their families and helping them maintain their quality of life. The team of medical professionals at the Center has set high standards to ensure that cancer patients receive not only outstanding care but also personalized attention when they come to Newton-Wellesley. The Cancer Center staff conducts ongoing investigations of advanced cancer treatment to continue incorporating new therapies as they become available.

For more information about the Cancer Center at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, visit our website at

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