Finding hope in a difficult diagnosis

While few things are as frightening as hearing the word “cancer” from a doctor, the 21st century is bringing more and more reasons for hope and optimism in the diagnosis of this dreaded disease. At Diablo Valley Oncology / Hematology Medical Group our physicians have expertise in treating both malignant and non-malignant blood disorders as well. Cancer medicine and blood medicine are usually treated by the same physicians because in the 1950s and 1960s, when the first medically treatable cancer was leukemia, a blood disease cared for by hematologists (internists who treat blood disorders).

First, never in history have so many resources gone into advancing the treatment of illness. Breakthroughs in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of both cancer and blood disorders are coming at a dizzying pace.

Hopeful news is reported in the scientific and popular press almost daily, including reports on steady progress being made in extending and improving the lives of patients after diagnosis.

The best time & place for optimism

Secondly, while cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States (after cardiovascular disease), survival rates have improved dramatically in recent years. In the 1970s, only one patient in two survived more than five years after diagnosis, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Today, for some types of cancer – prostate, testicular, thyroid and melanoma, among others – the five-year survival rate has improved to 90 percent or better. Even breast cancer sufferers have an 86-percent chance of living five years.

Thirdly, Americans are fortunate to have access to some of the best medical care in the world.

According to a recent British study, American women have a much better chance of living at least five years after diagnosis than European women (63 percent for all types of cancer, compared to 56 percent for European women). For American men, the prospects are even better: 66 percent chance of a five-year survival, compared to 47 percent for European men.

Our pledge: best in class

Lastly – and, we believe, most importantly – the skill levels of the cancer and blood disorder specialists at Diablo Valley Oncology / Hematology Medical Group (DVO) are expanding at a breathtaking rate. Our physicians and nurses are on a constant quest of improving not only their clinical talents but also their nurturing support of patients.

Cancer and blood disorders can take as much of an emotional toll as a physical one. Our job and our pledge to every patient are to make the process of diagnosis and treatment the best and the most comfortable possible. We are determined, quite simply, to be the best at what we do.

But please don’ t take our word for it. We invite you to ask your primary care doctor, friends, neighbors, family or other DVO patients. We think you’ ll find our reputation is second to none.

Types of cancer