Cancer/Oncology

Guiding you on your journey.
Cancer/Oncology

Cancer isn't just a medical condition. It's also a life-changing journey for many. From the moment of diagnosis, we are with you, offering expert medical care, understanding and support. At HealthEast Cancer Care, we stay on the leading edge, offering advanced options for diagnosis and treatment. Whether you need an initial diagnosis or a second opinion, we’re here to help.

About Cancer

Cancer isn't just one disease. It is a large and complex family of malignancies that can affect virtually every organ in the body. Cancer can strike at any age, although it is most common in people over 50.  

Many of us have been touched by cancer in some way. More than 1.2 million new cases are diagnosed every year.  

Half of all cancers occur in the:

  • Lung
  • Prostate
  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Rectum
 

The good news is that cancer death rates have been declining in recent years, especially among men. Men generally experience higher rates of cancer than women. Increasing public awareness has resulted in more people getting regular cancer screenings and practicing healthy lifestyles to reduce their risk.

How does cancer begin?

Cancer begins in the body's cells, which are constantly dividing and multiplying to replace old, damaged cells. Sometimes, cells divide and form excess tissue known as a tumor. In most cases, tumors are benign (non-cancerous). Benign tumors may cause health problems due to their size and location, but are not life-threatening.

However, if an abnormal cell begins to divide, it eventually forms a malignant (cancerous) tumor. Most malignant tumors grow quite rapidly and can take over nearby organs and tissues. Cancerous cells can also travel through the bloodstream to other regions of the body. When cancer spreads from its original site, the process is known as metastasis.

Contact HealthEast Cancer Care

One call puts you in touch with cancer care staff and services.

Call us for information on Cancer Care services, doctors, education or support groups.
651-232-7970

We provide a complete circle of care.

From diagnosis through treatment and beyond, you'll have access to a range of services and health professionals from across our care system.

Accreditation

HealthEast Cancer Care is approved by the American College of Surgeons, Commission on Cancer.
As an accredited cancer program, HealthEast ensures that patients with cancer are treated according to nationally accepted measures.
Learn more

HealthEast Cancer Care

HealthEast Cancer Center
1875 Woodwinds Drive
Suite WL-30
Woodbury, MN 55125
St. John's Hospital
1575 Beam Avenue
Maplewood, MN 55109
St. Joseph's Hospital
45 West 10th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Woodwinds Health Campus
1925 Woodwinds Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125

Types of cancer

There are many different types of cancer. Several factors, including the location and how cancerous cells appear under a microscope, determine how cancer is diagnosed. For example, there are several forms of breast cancer. They are classified according to where the tumors originate within the breast and their tendency to invade surrounding organs and tissue.

All cancers fall into one of four broad categories:

  • Carcinomas are tumors that arise in the tissues that line the body's organs. About 80 percent of all cancer cases are carcinomas.
  • Sarcomas are tumors that originate in bone, muscle, cartilage, fibrous tissue or fat.
  • Leukemias are cancers of the blood or blood-forming organs.
  • Lymphomas affect the lymphatic system (a network of vessels and nodes that acts as the body's filter). The lymphatic system distributes nutrients to blood and tissue and prevents bacteria and other foreign "invaders" from entering the bloodstream. There are more than 20 types of lymphoma.

We treat many different cancers at HealthEast, and offer both inpatient and outpatient services. Specialty services include:

Causes of cancer

All cancers are the result of genes that become damaged and allow abnormal cells to multiply. Most often, this damage occurs over a period of time and is caused by more than one factor. Some of this damage can be caused by one’s environment. This means that certain lifestyle changes can help to prevent or lower one’s risk for cancer. In addition, some people are born with genes that do not work properly and that increase their risk for cancer. Knowing if such a gene is present in your family may help to understand your risk and better manage your care, before or after a cancer occurs.

Environmental causes of cancer

  • Age: Cancer is most common among people over the age of 50.
  • Diet: High-fat, high-cholesterol diets are proven risk factors for several types of cancer, particularly colon cancer.
  • Obesity: Although no clear link has been established, research indicates obesity may be a contributing factor to some cancers.
  • Cigarettes greatly increase the risk of lung cancer, even among non-smokers who inhale secondhand smoke. Other tobacco products like pipes and chewing tobacco are linked to cancers of the mouth, tongue and throat.
  • Long-term exposure to chemicals like asbestos, radon and benzene.
  • Harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun are directly linked to melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
  • Some viruses have been associated with increased cancer risk. These include: Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Human papillomaviruses (HPV) and the Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis
  • Immune system diseases, like AIDS, can make one more susceptible to some cancers.

Hereditary risks

In some families, an abnormal gene increases the risk for certain types of cancer and is inherited, meaning it can be passed on from parent to child. These families may benefit from additional screening to help detect cancer early if it should occur; medications or lifestyle changes to lower cancer risk; or surgery to prevent cancer.

If hereditary cancer risk is suspected, genetic counseling and testing should be considered. There are many different genes that can cause an increased risk for cancer and many different options for genetic testing. A genetic counselor can help to identify which options are right for you and your family, and can help you understand the results, which may be complex.

Refer a patient to HealthEast Cancer Care

We're committed to open communication with referring physicians.


When your patients are treated through HealthEast, you'll get frequent updates so you can stay on top of their treatments and care.
Call 651-232-7970.

Faxing information

You can send follow-up requests or other information to us via fax.

651-232-5720

Sending slides and films

Please send pathology slides and radiology films to:

HealthEast Cancer Care 1575 Beam Ave. Maplewood, MN 55109

Ready for the big screen.

Have you scheduled your mammogram, colonoscopy and/or prostate screening? Remember, regular screenings are essential, and we’ll make them as easy and comfortable as possible.

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