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September 1, 2023 Events

Making Informed Decisions: Join Dr. Varun Doddapaneni for ‘Oncology Focused Advance Care Planning’ at Hunterdon Hematology Oncology

Are you an active cancer patient, cancer survivor, caregiver, family member, or friend seeking guidance on advance care planning? Hunterdon Hematology Oncology and Hunterdon Health would like to invite you to “Oncology Focused Advance Care Planning,” our upcoming community support event hosted by Dr. Varun Doddapaneni, the Medical Director of the Hunterdon Palliative Care & Center for Health Aging.

As a leading medical practice specializing in comprehensive cancer care, we understand the importance of discussing healthcare decisions and planning for the journey ahead. The event will take place on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 6:00 PM at the Hunterdon Medical Center Auditorium located at 2100 Wescott Drive, Flemington, NJ 08822.

During the event, Dr. Varun Doddapaneni will share valuable insights on how to initiate and navigate conversations about healthcare decisions, which can provide both guidance and peace of mind for patients and their loved ones. Attendees will learn about the various aspects of advanced care planning, including legal documents, treatment preferences, and end-of-life care options. The event will provide a safe and supportive space for attendees to ask questions, share concerns, and gain valuable knowledge to make decisions that align with their healthcare preferences.

In addition to the educational content, the event will be held in the spacious Hunterdon Medical Center Auditorium, ensuring adequate physical distancing. As the safety and well-being of our attendees are our top priority, wearing face masks is highly recommended.

This event provides an opportunity to learn from a leading expert in the field and connect with other individuals who may be facing similar challenges. Whether you are currently undergoing cancer treatment, have completed treatment, or are a caregiver or family member supporting a loved one, this event is open to all. Registration is recommended and can be submitted by emailing info@hhocancer.com.

At Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, we are committed to providing exceptional care and support to our patients and their families. We believe that advance care planning is a crucial aspect of cancer care, and we are dedicated to empowering our community with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed healthcare decisions.

Together, let’s take proactive steps towards advanced care planning to ensure that you and your loved ones have the knowledge and tools to make the best decisions about your healthcare. We hope to see you there!


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January 14, 2023 Educational

10 Must-Know Facts About Cervical Cancer

This past year, an estimated 14,100 women in the United States were diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer, yet it is the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer in women between the ages of 35 and 44 worldwide.

Cervical cancer affects the cervix, and the most common cause is infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Cervical cancer can often be found early, and sometimes even prevented, by having regular screening tests. If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers.

As January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, here are the top 10 key facts and statistics you need to know about cervical cancer:

  1. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, with an estimated 570,000 new cases and 311,000 deaths in 2020.
  2. HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact and most people are infected with HPV shortly after the onset of sexual activity. More than 90% of them clear the infection eventually.
  3. Cervical cancer is more common in women who smoke, have multiple sexual partners, or have a weakened immune system.
  4. Women living with HIV are 6 times more likely to develop cervical cancer compared to women without HIV.
  5. Cervical cancer can be prevented through HPV vaccinations, practicing safe sex, quitting smoking, and getting regular cancer screenings, such as Pap tests or HPV tests.
  6. Currently available vaccines are intended to produce immunity to HPV types that cause about 90% of cervical cancers. Two main HPV types are responsible for nearly 50% of high grade cervical pre-cancers.
  7. Symptoms of cervical cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sex, and abnormal discharge.
  8. Treatment options for cervical cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
  9. The 5-year survival rate for cervical cancer is 92% for cases detected at the earliest stage (stage 0 or stage 1). This drops to 57% for stage 2, 17% for stage 3, and 9% for stage 4.
  10. Cervical cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women in many developing countries, but is much less common in developed countries due to widespread access to screening and vaccination. Cervical cancer disproportionately affects women of lower socio-economic status and those who lack access to healthcare.

At Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, we are a community oncology practice holding continuous education and information sharing as a top priority. WHO practices integrative oncology, using complementary techniques to improve quality of life and help our patients manage the journey through cancer treatment.

To find out more about cervical cancer, book a screening test, or arrange a consultation, call the HHO team in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-237-1201 or schedule an appointment online.


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August 1, 2022 Cancer Treatment

Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that affects your blood. This disease presents itself in various ways, from bone pain to mental fog. Knowing the symptoms is one of the best ways to catch the disease early on, making it easier to diagnose and treat.

At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, LLC, our team of renowned experts helps you when you’re suffering from a blood disorder or cancer. Leading our team are five hematology and oncology specialists. Our team offers cutting-edge treatments when you find yourself with multiple myeloma.

What is multiple myeloma?

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects the plasma cells in your blood. These cells are a type of white blood cell, and they’re an important part of your immune system.

Your plasma cells help your body fight off foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses that could harm you. They do this by producing antibodies, which are able to detect and eliminate most pathogens that get into your body.

Multiple myeloma happens when your plasma cells mutate into cancerous cells. These cells then migrate into your bone marrow, where they clump together and push out your healthy plasma cells.

These cancerous plasma cells then make abnormal proteins instead of antibodies, which leads to complications and uncomfortable symptoms. Multiple myeloma is a rare form of cancer, but it’s just as dangerous as any other form of the disease.

8 common symptoms of multiple myeloma

In the early stages of multiple myeloma, you may not have any symptoms at all. However, as the diseased plasma cells begin to accumulate in your bone marrow, you may suffer from numerous symptoms.

The symptoms you experience depend on how advanced the disease is. Eight of the most common symptoms of multiple myeloma include:

  1. Bone pain
  2. Weight loss
  3. Excessive thirst
  4. Extreme fatigue
  5. Brain fog
  6. Nausea
  7. Constipation
  8. Frequent infections

You may also notice that you’re bleeding more easily than normal, or bruising frequently. The decrease in healthy plasma cells prevents production of adequate platelets in your blood. Platelets are a vital component of blood clotting, which is why their absence makes you bleed more easily.

You may experience all of these symptoms or only a few. It depends on how much bone marrow is affected by the cancerous plasma cells and in which parts of your body.

When to seek treatment

It’s hard to believe, but you may not actually need treatment right away with multiple myeloma. For instance, if the disease is moving slowly and you don’t have many symptoms, our team simply recommends monitoring you to evaluate your condition.

If you’re exhibiting signs and symptoms of multiple myeloma, you should seek treatment from our team as soon as possible. At our facility, our team of oncology specialists evaluates your symptoms and uses diagnostic tools like lab testing or a bone marrow biopsy.

The team offers several treatments based on the severity of your disease. They may include chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy. They also provide corticosteroids and stem cell therapy or bone marrow transplants to ease your symptoms and control multiple myeloma.

If you’re exhibiting signs of multiple myeloma, don’t hesitate to call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461, or schedule an appointment online with one of our expert doctors today.


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July 1, 2022 Educational

When you have cancer, immunotherapy is one of the cutting-edge treatment options you have. There are many different forms of immunotherapy, and each one works to find invasive cancer cells and destroy them. Each form of immunotherapy can help different types of cancer.

At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, our expert team of five oncologists and hematologists offers state-of-the-art treatments for just about every form of cancer. The team is proud to provide immunotherapy as an option for many of our cancer patients who are looking for hope during their fight with cancer.

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a modern technology that uses your immune system to fight off certain types of cancer and cancer cells. It can either boost the overall health of your immune system or help it work more efficiently.

Immunotherapy has been used to treat various types of cancer. The team at Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology use this form of therapy to treat cancers such as:

  • Lymphoma
  • Liver cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Bladder cancer

It’s also used for head and neck cancers, along with colon cancer and prostate cancer. While immunotherapy is a very versatile treatment, it’s not for everyone. Our team helps you determine if this is a viable treatment option for your specific condition.

What are the different types of immunotherapy?

There are many forms of immunotherapy, each of which works differently to enhance your immune system’s ability to seek out and destroy cancer cells. The forms of immunotherapy our team offers include:

T-cell transfer therapy

This form of immunotherapy helps your T-cells find and kill cancer cells more easily. Our doctors extract powerful immune cells that are attached to your tumor or cancer cells. They then take them to the lab, and find the strongest T-cells. The team multiplies these cells in the lab, and injects them back into the tumor to destroy it.

Monoclonal antibodies

Antibodies are made by your immune system to find and destroy antigens, or invaders in your body. Monoclonal antibodies are made in a lab, specifically for the antigens that are attached to cancer cells. Once they attach to the cancer antigens, your immune system can find and destroy those cells.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors

Immune checkpoints are in place to keep your immune system from attacking healthy cells when fighting off an invader. However, cancer cells sometimes turn these checkpoints on where they shouldn’t be, allowing the cells to spread.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are treatments that turn off some of your immune system’s checkpoints, which allows it to seek out the cancer cells and destroy them.

Treatment vaccines

Cancer vaccines are similar to the other vaccines you receive for things like the flu or tetanus, which helps prevent these illnesses. Treatment vaccines use proteins from cancer cells or dead cancer cells to trigger an immune response from your body.

Immune system modulators

This form of immunotherapy basically gives your immune system a large boost. This works, because a strong immune system works better to fight off invaders, such as cancer cells. Examples of immune system modulators or interleukins and interferons.

Each form of immunotherapy works differently on your body to fight off tumors or cancer cells. The specific type of immunotherapy you need depends on your overall health, the type of cancer you have, and what other treatments you’ve tried.

Is everyone a candidate for immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a modern treatment option for those needing new hope in their cancer treatment. However, it’s not made for every case of cancer. You may be considered for immunotherapy if you have:

  • Advanced cancer
  • Exhausted other treatment options
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Biomarkers positive for PD-L1
  • High tumor mutational burden
  • High microsatellite instability

There are a lot of up-and-coming cancer treatments, many of which our team offers to you. If you’re struggling with cancer, the team at Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology provides expert immunotherapy consults to determine what the best course of treatment is for your type and stage of cancer.

If you’d like to learn more about how immunotherapy can help you, don’t hesitate to call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461, or schedule an appointment online with one of our expert doctors today.


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June 1, 2022 Cancer Treatment

When you’re diagnosed with cancer, there are a number of treatments available. Among the most common treatments is chemotherapy, used for a variety of cancers at many different stages of the disease. Preparing for chemotherapy is vital to getting through these treatments successfully.

At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, our team specializes in a variety of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy. Leading our team are five expertly trained oncologists and hematologists, who help you understand your cancer and get you the advanced treatment you need to fight it.

What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses very strong chemicals to kill cancer cells growing in your body. Many of the drugs used in chemotherapy are considered cytotoxic, which means they target and kill rapidly growing cancer cells.

There are many different drugs used in chemotherapy, some that have been around for a long time, and some that are newer. Chemotherapy can be used as the only form of treatment for your cancer, or it may be combined with other therapies like radiation to give you a better prognosis.

Chemotherapy works systemically — meaning it travels throughout your body, killing any cancer cells that have spread from the primary tumor. This is how chemotherapy differs from other treatments, such as radiation and immunotherapy.

Chemotherapy is delivered in several different ways, including through an IV infusion or in pill form. There are also chemotherapy creams that are applied topically, injections, and wafers that are placed in your body at the tumor site through surgery.

The way you receive chemotherapy is highly dependent on your specific type of cancer.

How to prepare for chemotherapy

Preparing for chemotherapy is half the battle. This form of treatment is daunting, and often leaves your body drained. However, by preparing ahead of time, you’ll be ready for the side effects when they hit, and your experience may be a little better than if you weren’t in the know.

Our team assists you on prep steps to take before you start chemotherapy. Some of the ways you can prepare include:

Bring entertainment

Chemotherapy sessions can be very long — several hours in some cases. Bring a laptop to watch a movie, or cards to play with your companion. This helps to pass the time and takes your focus off of the actual treatment.

See your dentist

Making sure your dental health is in check helps prevent complications from chemotherapy. You should see your dentist within six months of starting chemotherapy to ensure there are no infections in your mouth to worry about.

Pack a bag

Bring a bag along with things such as a blanket, water, and a small snack to help you through long chemo sessions. Bring anything that brings you comfort while you’re receiving the treatment.

Prepare some meals

You may not feel well after your chemotherapy session, so it’s important to meal prep ahead of time. This way, if you’re not feeling well enough to cook, you still have something to eat when you get home.

Pick up any medications

Get your home medications at your pharmacy before you begin your chemo. This ensures that you have all the medications you need available, since you’ll likely be wiped out from your session.

It’s also important that you bring someone along with you if you can. This person not only provides companionship, but also helps with any questions you may have or note taking you need during your chemotherapy session.

Why preparation is important

Your chemotherapy session may be anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on your specific treatment plan. This takes a lot of time out of your day, and you might be tired afterwards.

Getting things in order before your chemotherapy session is important for a number of reasons. Because of the strength of the medications, you may experience a number of side effects that can affect you for a few days, which include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Mouth sores

These side effects don’t last forever, but can continue for the duration of your chemotherapy treatments. Getting prepared for this ahead of time helps you cut down on side effects, and gets your home ready if they do hit, so you’re comfortable.

Side effects aren’t the only reason why preparation is important. If you’re receiving chemotherapy, it’s likely a huge aspect of your treatment plan. Knowing what to expect and understanding the medications gets you mentally prepared to go through the rounds of treatment that you’ll need.

If you’re in need of chemotherapy, our team can help. Don’t hesitate to call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461, or schedule an appointment online with one of our expert doctors today.


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February 1, 2022 Educational

Many factors increase your risks for the numerous different types of cancer — but did you know that your oral hygiene is one of them? Head and neck cancers encompass a number of different conditions that affect your nose, mouth, and throat. So it’s no surprise that bad oral habits can increase your risk of these cancers.

At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, our team specializes in diagnosing and treating the numerous types of cancer and blood disorders. At the forefront of our team are five expertly trained oncologists and hematologists, who offer state-of-the-art treatments and therapies when you’re suffering from cancer.

Types of head and neck cancers

Head and neck cancers are conditions that affect the mucosal linings in your mouth and throat. Your voice box and sinuses may also be affected. The mucosal linings are often affected by squamous cell carcinomas, which are cancers of that specific cell type.

Less commonly, cancers may affect your salivary glands or the nerves and muscles in your neck. While these types of cancers exist, they’re rare compared to those from squamous cell carcinoma.

Some of the many different kinds of cancers that affect your head and neck include:

  • Lip cancer
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Paranasal sinus cancer
  • Hypopharyngeal cancer

Many of these types of cancer are related to the use of tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption. However, there are other risk factors as well, one of which is poor oral hygiene.

Your oral hygiene can be related to cancer

Believe it or not, your oral hygiene affects more than just your teeth and gums. In fact, bad oral hygiene is related to a number of health conditions, including head and neck cancers. But what exactly is the reason for this?

Poor dental hygiene results in the buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth. If left untreated by a dental professional, they can contribute to gum disease. Gingivitis and periodontitis are both types of gum disease, with the latter being more severe.

Gum disease leads to pocketing around your teeth that fill with plaque and bacteria, specifically Porphyromonas gingivalis. This bacterium has been found in large amounts within tumors of the head and neck.

But what types of oral hygiene practices put you at a higher risk for cancer? If you have any of the following, your risk of head and neck cancers may be increased:

Lack of regular visits to your dentist also increases your risk of head and neck cancers. This is because you miss out on the screening and cleaning of your gums and teeth. This helps to eliminate the harmful bacteria that can lurk in your gums.

What you can do to decrease your risk

Unfortunately, cancer can’t always be prevented, especially if you have a familial history of it. However, you can change some of the risk factors that make it more likely you’ll end up with head or neck cancers.

Oral hygiene is one of the factors you’re able to control. This means taking your time to properly brush and floss. It also means regular trips to the dentist to make sure you don’t have gum disease or any other problems that could provoke cancer cells to form.

Also, there aren’t any real screening tests for many head and neck cancers, but dentists do check for signs of a problem. During your regular dental visits, most providers check in your oral cavity for signs that might point to suspicious cells or signs of cancer.

Our team of experts helps you understand your risk for head and neck cancers, so you’re able to get ahead of the problem. Along with proper oral hygiene, our doctors get you the treatment you need if you’re at an increased risk for these forms of cancer.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a head or neck cancer, or would like more information, call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461, or schedule an appointment online with one of our amazing doctors today.


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December 1, 2021 Educational

Your skin is something you don’t always include when you think about your health. However, years of sun damage and wear-and-tear can do a number on your largest organ. In fact, in some cases, it can lead to skin cancer. But did you know that seemingly harmless moles can also contribute to melanoma, a form of skin cancer?

At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, our team of experts helps you determine your risk for melanoma. Leading our team are five oncology and hematology specialists, who not only treat melanoma, but other types of skin cancer as well.

What is melanoma?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that’s typically caused by overexposure to harmful UV rays from the sun. It’s a very aggressive form of cancer and can be deadly if it’s not found and treated early.

Melanoma gets its name because this type of cancer originates in your melanocytes, cells that make melanin, which gives your skin its pigment. Melanoma is most often found on areas of your skin that are exposed to sunlight, including:

  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Face
  • Back

Sometimes, it can even show up in areas that don’t see a lot of sun, like the bottoms of your feet and your fingernail beds. In rare cases, this type of cancer may also be found in your eyes, nose, or throat.

So are you at risk for melanoma? If you use tanning beds or are regularly exposed to sunlight, you’re at a higher risk for this disease. There are other risk factors as well, some of which include:

  • Fair skin
  • Frequent sunburn
  • Family history
  • Weak immune system

Another risk factor for melanoma is a large number of ordinary-looking moles on your body. If you have more than 50 moles, you’re at a higher risk for developing melanoma.

How moles and skin cancer are linked

Normally, moles on their own aren’t dangerous. Moles are simply a cluster of melanocytes that grow together to form a darker pigmented spot on your skin. Most adults have some moles, which are usually found in areas that get sun exposure.

A normal, noncancerous mole is about the size of a pencil eraser or smaller, and is oval or round in shape. It also has a regular edge and is smooth the whole way around.

So how are moles and melanoma linked? If your moles are regularly shaped, you don’t have much to worry about. However, in some cases, you may have something called a dysplastic nevus, which is basically an irregular-looking mole.

Dysplastic nevi aren’t usually cancerous, but you should keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t change. To avoid finding melanoma too late, be sure to check your moles at least once a month, and look for changes like:

  • Becomes itchy
  • Becomes scaly
  • Changes in size
  • Bleeds or oozes
  • Changes in shape
  • Changes in texture

Moles that become lumpy or hard to the touch are also a concern. If you have any moles that show signs of any of these changes, it’s important to contact our team for an evaluation. The earlier you find these changes, the earlier melanoma can be diagnosed and treated if that’s the case.

When it’s found early, before it has a chance to spread, melanoma is usually curable. The best way to stay ahead of melanoma is to avoid excess UV light exposure and to check your moles regularly to assess for changes.

If you have any moles that you’re worried about, please don’t hesitate to call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461, or schedule an appointment online with one of our amazing doctors today.


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October 1, 2021 Cancer Treatment

Cancer is a disease that affects many different areas of your body, and sometimes requires very invasive and uncomfortable forms of treatment. One of the common types of cancer treatment is chemotherapy. If you’re familiar with this treatment, you might know that it often leads to hair loss — that is, until now.

At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, our team members treat many different types of cancer. Our practice consists of five specialists, all of whom are experts in oncology and hematology conditions and treatments. One of the very special treatments they offer is known as scalp cooling.

Why chemo causes hair loss

Your hair is something you might take for granted — that is, until you’re faced with cancer and chemotherapy. One of the best known side effects of this type of treatment is alopecia, or hair loss.

So why does chemotherapy lead to lost hair? You first have to understand that your hair is constantly growing, because it’s made of cells that multiply rapidly, which is why you need a haircut every few weeks.

Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that uses powerful drugs to attack cancer cells at the source. The problem is, the drugs also attack other cells that grow rapidly, including your hair cells.

After several treatments of chemotherapy, you may notice clumps of your hair falling out from your head. You may also lose hair in other areas of your body like your arms and legs.

How does scalp cooling therapy work?

In order for your hair to grow, you need an adequate blood supply to your hair follicles. The scalp cooling system uses scalp hypothermia to reduce and restrict blood flow to the hair follicles. This helps reduce hair loss, because the cells become less active without the proper amount of blood circulating to them, and therefore less attractive to the chemotherapy agents.

The cool temperatures also work to lessen the amount of chemotherapy medications that are able to reach the hair follicles. The medications are introduced into your bloodstream and run all throughout your body, wherever the blood takes them.

By reducing the amount of blood flow that gets to your scalp, you’re also reducing the amount of chemotherapy drugs that have access to your hair follicles. This, in turn, helps reduce the amount of hair you’ll lose during treatment.

The three stages of treatment

At Hunterdon Oncology and Hematology, our team uses the Paxman Scalp Cooling System to help you avoid hair loss during your treatment. This system works very well, and is implemented using three specific stages during chemotherapy. These stages include:

1. Pre-cooling stage

The first stage of the scalp cooling treatment starts 30 minutes before your chemotherapy treatment. However, if you have very thick hair, you’ll need to start the therapy 45 minutes before your chemo treatment.

2. Infusion cooling stage

The second phase of the scalp cooling treatment happens during your chemotherapy treatment. The length of this phase varies widely, as it depends on how long your chemotherapy session lasts.

3. Post-infusion cooling stage

The last stage of this therapy occurs after your chemotherapy session is finished. The cooling cap is left on for about 90-100 minutes after your treatment is finished. You may be moved to a different area after your treatment to undergo this last phase of the scalp cooling therapy.

After 90 or so minutes, the cap is removed. Before you get up and move around, you should allow your scalp temperature to adjust to the ambient temperature.

The great thing about our scalp cooling system is it’s very versatile — meaning you’re able to get up and walk around with it on, and even head to the restroom if you need to.

If you’re undergoing chemotherapy and are interested in learning more about our scalp cooling treatment, call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461, or schedule an appointment online with one of our amazing doctors today.


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July 14, 2021 Cancer Treatment

Cancer is a ruthless and exhausting disease, especially after you’ve been through several rounds of treatment. Chemotherapy and radiation are two very well-known treatment options, but what happens when those don’t do the trick, or aren’t warranted for your type of cancer? At that point, a clinical trial could be just the answer you’ve been looking for.

At Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, our staff members are willing to do whatever it takes to get you the type of treatment you need. Our team of five expert oncologists and hematologists participate in several types of clinical trials to get you the most up-to-date treatment options for your condition.

What are clinical trials?

There are many different types of cancer, each with its own specific treatment approach. However, the type of treatment you receive is highly dependent on how early the cancer was caught, along with other factors like your overall health.

Cancer research is constantly evolving, meaning treatments also evolve as more information is learned about each disease. This is where clinical trials come in to help when you have exhausted other options.

Clinical trials are research-based study groups that use the best and most effective treatment option for a specific type of cancer, but add in another component to hopefully yield even better results. This not only includes a trial of different medications, but it may also include therapies such as radiation or chemo.

Because research is constantly evolving, there’s literally a trial for just about any type of cancer you can think of. Many of these trials focus on later stages of cancer that are harder to beat; however, clinical trials exist for earlier stages as well.

Are you a candidate?

Now that you know what a clinical trial is, how do you know if you’re a good fit for one? This is a decision you need to think carefully about, as it’s about your life and your health. Our doctors are available to answer any questions you have and give you information on the latest clinical trials, as well as benefits and complications from each.

Here are a few guidelines to help you determine if a trial is right for you:

  • Having a specific type of cancer
  • Being in a specified stage of that cancer
  • Being in a certain age group
  • Having genetic changes in your tumor
  • Looking at your past medical history

The trial may also take into account your current health status, as the drugs and treatments might not be good for you if you aren’t healthy enough. They may also need to know what types of treatments you’ve tried in the past, and the results those treatments had.

Because there are so many different types of clinical trials for cancer, each one has its own set of criteria in order for you to participate. If you’re accepted into a trial, it’s a chance for you to receive treatment that you might not get anywhere else.

Pros and cons of clinical trials

Just like any other form of treatment, clinical trials have pros and cons you should weigh before you make your decision. Your health is very important, so making sure the pros outweigh the cons is your best chance at getting the results you want.

Clinical trials offer a lot of hope to those who are dealing with difficult types of cancer. Some of the benefits of these trials include:

  • You get the newest, most advanced treatments
  • Our team follows you very closely
  • You’ll be the first to benefit if it’s effective
  • Your results can help others in the future

The chance to get to try a new treatment with promising results may draw you toward a clinical trial, but unfortunately there are cons to consider as well. Some of the negative aspects of clinical trials include:

  • The side effects could be worse than what you have
  • You might not see any results
  • You usually have to undergo more testing than normal
  • You may incur additional expenses with a trial
  • Your insurance may not cover the trial

Sometimes, the original treatment yields better results, but that’s why the trials are in place. You should always weigh your options with our team before making a decision.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and haven’t had success with your treatment, call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461 to schedule an appointment with one of our amazing doctors today.


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June 24, 2021 Cancer Treatment

Strange symptoms that come out of nowhere are scary, especially when you think of all the conditions it could signal. However, you most likely aren’t ready when the doctor tells you it’s cancer. Along with being stunned, you’re wondering where you go from here.

At Hunterdon Hematology Oncology, our staff is ready to help you with the next steps in your treatment. Our team consists of board-certified oncologists and hematologists who specialize in many types of cancer and help you start the targeted treatment you need.

Common symptoms of cancer

Cancer isn’t something you probably worry about on a normal basis; however, there’s always a risk, especially if you have a family history. And there are many different types of cancers that can affect just about any part of your body.

While some types of cancer seem to come out of the blue, others may fester for a while. The tricky part is, many other less severe conditions may also cause similar symptoms. It’s important to understand changes to your body, and some common symptoms of cancer, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Skin changes
  • Fevers without cause
  • Unexplained bleeding

You also want to be on the lookout for other symptoms such as cuts or sores on your skin that don’t seem to be getting better. In addition, if you’ve had a cough for a while, or feel like there’s a frog in your throat that doesn’t seem to go away, you want to let our doctors know.

Of course, many of these symptoms could be due to something minor, but if you experience any change in your health, it’s best to let our doctors know as soon as possible, in case it’s a sign of cancer. The earlier the diagnosis, the better your chances of beating the disease.

What to do first after being diagnosed

When our doctors tell you it’s cancer, a thousand things probably run through your mind. You might find it hard to believe, or already feel grief in knowing there’s really something wrong. Although cancer isn’t what you want to hear, knowing how to proceed helps you get treatment faster, increasing your chances of survival. Here are a few things to do after your diagnosis:

1. Stay calm

Although this step seems impossible, it’s very important to keep your mind straight. Panicking only allows fear to take over, which leads to anxiety and possibly depression. Keeping yourself calm allows you to take in the diagnosis and begin figuring out a game plan.

2. Form a care team

This is a very important step, as it not only involves your doctors, but also family and social workers who provide necessary support. These people on your team are the ones who are going to stick with you throughout your cancer journey, so making sure you have a good group of people is vital.

3. Discuss treatment options

Whether your treatment starts out easy or is aggressive, discussing your options helps you to decide on something that works for you. Chemotherapy and radiation may be scary, but knowing there’s something out there to help you beat this terrible disease can be reassuring.

4. Learn about your cancer

The best thing you can do is research the type of cancer you’ve been diagnosed with. This helps you understand not only the treatments you’ll be given, but also what to expect each step of the way. You may also find support groups for your specific cancer, which helps you through the dark times during treatment.

5. Take care of yourself

After you take it all in, make sure you remember to care for yourself. There are a million thoughts going through your head, but getting lost in everything isn’t good for your health. Remember to take time during the day to eat, get enough sleep, and give yourself an opportunity to grieve if you need it.

So what next?

After your initial diagnosis, a lot is going to happen. Our team of oncologists and hematologists help you form an initial treatment plan. This plan may involve many things, including medications, diet changes, and chemotherapy.

It’s important during this time to make sure you’re not only taking care of your physical health, but your mental health as well. A cancer diagnosis can take a toll on you, especially in the first few months. Keep your support team close, and ask for help when you need it.

Some cancers are harder to fight than others, and our expert team of doctors treat you and your specific disease with all of the latest technologies.

If you need help navigating a cancer diagnosis, call our office in Flemington, New Jersey at 908-788-6461 to schedule an appointment.




About HHO


Hunterdon Hematology Oncology is a community oncology group, dedicated to fighting cancer in this community and across the region. Our Doctors, Physician’s Assistants and Nurses work tirelessly. They fight hard so that you can win.




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