The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly two million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2023, making access to local leading-edge, comprehensive cancer care essential. Patients at the White Plains Hospital Center for Cancer Care have access to highly specialized treatments for a variety of cancers, including brain, breast, gastrointestinal, gynecologic, head and neck, hematologic, lung, pancreatic, prostate and thoracic cancers, from world-class clinical experts.
The Center’s unique combination of innovative treatments, a collaborative culture and comprehensive approach to patient care has led to success in both patient outcomes and attracting highly specialized national experts at the forefront of cancer care: since 2022, the Center has added breast surgeon Dr. Dianne Seo, as well as hematologists and medical oncologists Dr. Zunaira Choudhary, Dr. Angela Marcelino and Dr. Numa Rahman, to its care team.
These leading specialists highlight the culture, clinical excellence, treatments and technology that set White Plains Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care apart.
Collaboration for Exceptional Care
Each patient is cared for by a dedicated team of medical oncologists, specialized surgeons, pathologists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and several supportive care team members who develop their personalized care plan. No patient is just a number at White Plains Hospital, explains Dr. Seo of her decision to join WPH’s Center for Cancer Care. In addition to upholding the clinical standards that have earned the Hospital’s Breast Program accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, “the incredible interdisciplinary team here is dedicated to providing the best care for each individual,” explains Dr. Seo, who specializes in lumpectomies, mastectomies and other procedures to treat breast conditions in both men and women.
Tumor Boards, which were first introduced at White Plains Hospital in 1936, allow clinicians to collaborate and ensure that each patient receives the best possible treatment. It was this interdisciplinary approach that appealed to Dr. Rahman, who specializes in the treatment of breast, thoracic and gastrointestinal cancers. “Our meetings are an opportunity to review complex cases with a dedicated group of medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists and devise individualized treatment plans for patients,” says Dr. Rahman.
Novel Treatment, Advanced Technology
Dr. Marcelino, who treats all types of cancers and blood disorders, notes that White Plains Hospital’s advanced imaging capabilities, together with its groundbreaking therapies and the strength of the Hospital’s partnership with the Montefiore Health System, allow her to provide the best possible care to patients. PET/MRI, state-of-the-art imaging that combines the specific details of an MRI with the metabolic information of a PET scan, offers benefits to providers and patients alike: “The image quality is exceptional, and PET/MRI offers shorter test times and lower radiation exposure,” explains Dr. Marcelino.
In addition, patients have access to novel, dynamic treatment options through the Hospital’s partnership with the Montefiore Health System. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) therapy as one such treatment option for patients with advanced lymphomas, multiple myeloma, and refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “CAR T-Cell therapy can be a game-changer for patients who have not responded to other treatments,” Dr. Marcelino says.
Leading-Edge Clinical Trials
Clinical trials play a critical role in the evolution of cancer treatment. “White Plains Hospital is committed to offering patients the most innovative treatment options, as well as to advancing medicine, and that is clear from the impressive number of trials available to my patients,” says Dr. Choudhary, who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of a number of cancers, including breast, urologic, gastroenterological, gynecological, lung and brain as well as malignant and benign blood disorders and diseases. “When it is appropriate based on their unique needs, we encourage patients to explore participation in clinical trials, and we continue to expand our program through new therapies,” Dr. Choudhary says. Since 2017, more than 500 patients have taken advantage of these programs for a variety of cancers.
A Whole-Person Approach to Care
With the knowledge that a cancer diagnosis and its treatment can significantly impact patients’ quality of life, the Center for Cancer Care’s Infusion Center is designed with a whole-person approach to patient care. Nurse practitioners visit with patients regularly to ensure continuity of care and early intervention for malnutrition, weight and muscle loss, emotional distress, or other challenges. Referrals for clinical counseling are also available for patients and families, and appointments can take place in the Infusion Center or separate office visits. For patients who need added behavioral health support, White Plains Hospital also has a strong relationship with St. Vincent’s Hospital, which offers additional behavioral health services. In addition, patients have access to an art therapist, chaplain, and caregiver support social worker.
“My patients have had opportunities to be evaluated by our nutritionists, therapists, and other services to ensure success while undergoing treatment,” says Dr. Choudhary, who also points to the array of support services available to patients and their loved ones as instrumental for optimal patient care. “From our clinical navigators to support groups to our Art Therapy program, the Center is unique in its approach to caring for the whole patient.”
White Plains Hospital’s Center for Cancer Care is committed to supporting patients through every step of their journey. To learn more about the services available for patients and their loved ones, or to find a cancer doctor, call 914-849-7500.