Cancer patients often face adverse effects from their treatment. These effects typically need to be addressed by a doctor, whether they’re nausea, rashes, or anything else. The issue is that emergency rooms are often not an option for these patients. They need people who are well versed in oncology and treating their specific needs. The Medical College of Wisconsin has addressed this problem by creating a 24/7 clinic that is meant specifically for these cancer patients. They treat those with rare cancers, such as myeloproliferative neoplasms, as well as other forms of the disease. Dr. Laura Michaelis, an associate professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is one of the brilliant minds behind this clinic, and she recently spoke about it to Cure.
About Myeloproliferative Neoplasms
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) are a group of blood cancers that occur when the body over-produces white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets. This causes issues with blood flow. There are three major forms of myeloproliferative neoplasms: polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and myelofibrosis (MF). In most cases, these cancers progress gradually. They typically affect those who are over 50 with no family history of the disease.
These cancers result from a mutation in a blood stem cell, which then leads to the abnormal development of blood cells and over-production. The exact cause of MPN is unknown, but medical professionals have found that many with this cancer have a mutation on the JAK2 gene, which is believed to play a role in the over-production of blood cells.
Symptoms of MPN include headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, itchiness, night sweats, and hypertension. Symptoms often do not appear early in the disease, and they tend to progress slowly.
About the Clinic
The Medical College of Wisconsin has recently created a clinic meant for the treatment of cancer patients. They renovated parts of their hospital, creating outpatient rooms from inpatient rooms. The clinic has four beds, all of which are reserved for cancer patients. It is also staffed by oncology nurses, doctors, and advanced practice providers.
It is meant to help cancer patients who are dealing with adverse effects from treatment or complications from the cancer. Doctors can send patients to this clinic if they believe that an issue can be better treated there rather than an emergency room.
The benefit of this clinic is that patients receive treatment from those who are experienced and trained in cancer treatment; they do not have to endure all of the trouble that comes with going to emergency room. They are able to receive the care they need during the day instead of having to stay overnight. Tests are tailored to cancer patients, rather than the wide variety of tests offered in an emergency room.
This clinic simply makes it easier for cancer patients to receive the best treatment in a quick, less hectic manner than an emergency room.
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