Health News Articles

Diagnosed with Cancer? UMCP Is There Every Step of the Way

Apr 2, 2014

When diagnosed with cancer, patients often feel scared, confused, or overwhelmed. The skilled compassionate staff of the Edward & Marie Matthews Center for Cancer Care at University Medical Center of Princeton (UMCP) use an interdisciplinary approach to help patients through every step.

Once a diagnosis is made, a patient will be referred to an appropriate specialist. “This referral may be to an oncologist, but not always,” says David Sokol, MD . “For instance, a referral could be made to a surgeon for colon surgery. Oncologists can be involved at any time to help explain the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Also, an oncologist will work with other specialists such as radiologists and pathologists to confirm the type and stage of cancer.”

Once the type and stage of cancer have been confirmed, a treatment plan will be made. Treatments vary from medications—some classified as chemotherapy and others classified as hormonal—to radiation and surgery. “Often patients need more than one type of treatment, and care needs to be coordinated among the different specialists,” notes Dr. Sokol, board certified in hematology, internal medicine, and medical oncology. “In addition to a nurse navigator to help guide the patient through this, we have weekly conferences to discuss patients and get input from all specialists in formulating a treatment plan.”

UMCP’s nurse navigator provides a unique service for patients, guiding them through their treatment. The nurse navigator acts as a coordinator and may offer resources to patients for support, address financial concerns or language issues, or even handle transportation needs. The nurse navigator is available to assist patients and their families.

A cancer diagnosis is the beginning of a process with many different options. UMCP’s Edward & Marie Matthews Center for Cancer Care, multidisciplinary approach, and trained staff are making that process easier for patients every day.

To find a physician affiliated with Princeton Medicine, call 1.800.FIND.A.DR (1.800.346.3237) or visit