Oncology in Ventura and Los Angeles counties
Los Robles Health System's cancer center is a full-service facility dedicated to your cancer treatment. The center provides a complete array of services for the screening, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer.
These services are offered through a network of oncology specialists, conveniently located at the hospital. Our cancer care center has a long history of treating patients with all different types of cancer.
To find a physician specializing in cancer care, please call our Consult-A-Nurse® line at (877) 888-5746.
The American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer has accredited Los Robles Medical Center as a Community Cancer Program.
Compassionate cancer care
At Los Robles' Cancer Center, we offer you compassionate, personalized care, including:
- Breast cancer nurse navigators to guide you through your journey to survivorship
- Board-certified physicians who use the latest treatment options and surgical techniques
- Private rooms with beautiful valley views
- Access to genetic counselors
- Psychological counseling to aid patients with their needs
- Peer support through our Pink Ribbon Partner Ambassadors
Our Cancer Center's staff is composed of an expert team of cancer care specialists that includes medical, surgical, urologic, gynecologic and radiation oncologists as well as plastic and reconstructive surgeons. The team also includes oncology nurses, radiation therapists, pain management specialists, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists, laboratory specialists, physicists, nutritionists, social workers, personal care/image experts, and financial counselors.
Types of cancer we treat
We diagnose and treat a wide range of cancers, including:
Three main types of cancer affect the bladder:
- Adenocarcinoma, which is a type of cancer that forms in glandular cells found in the lining of the bladder
- Squamous cell carcinoma, which is cancer that begins in thin, flat cells that are called squamous cells, and form in the bladder after long-term infection or irritation
- Transitional cell carcinoma, which is cancer that begins in the innermost tissue layer of the bladder
Some symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Blood in the urine
- Lower back pain
- Weight loss
- Bone pain or abdominal pain
While breast cancer may be the second most prevalent cancer in women, the overall death rate has greatly improved over the last 20 years.
We help you face your journey in combating breast cancer through a personalized treatment program. If you or a loved one have recently faced a positive diagnosis, we offer a full range of breast cancer services.
Colon cancer is the growth of cancer in the large intestine. You are at a greater risk for colon cancer when you are 50 years or older.
Colon cancer can have many symptoms, some of which include:
- Blood in the stool
- Change in bowel habits
- Constipation, or, the feeling that the bowel doesn’t empty completely
- General fatigue
- Narrower stools
- Unexpected weight loss
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that sit on both sides of the spine and are responsible for filtering blood and producing urine.
There are two common types of kidney cancer:
- Renal cell carcinoma, which is the most common type of kidney cancer and occurs when cancer cells are found in the lining of tubules in the kidneys
- Wilms tumor, which primarily affects children and in most cases only affects one of the two kidneys
- Blood in the urine
- Lower back pain
- Lump in the abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of ankles, legs or abdomen
About 90 percent of all lung cancer cases are related to smoking, while pollutants and other toxins make up for the remaining 10 percent.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. and usually occurs in two forms:
- Non-small cell lung cancer, which occurs when cancer cells grow and spread at a slow rate
- Small cell lung cancer, which occurs when cancer cells grow at a rapid rate and spread to other parts of the body
Lung cancer symptoms may include:
- Constant chest pain
- Lingering cough that worsens over time
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the neck and face
The pancreas is a pear-shaped organ in the abdomen that produces digestive enzymes and hormones, including insulin.
Although some time can pass before you notice the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, it is important to note some of the symptoms, such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper abdomen
Prostate cancer is a disease that occurs when cancer cells grow in the prostate gland. The walnut-sized gland is found in men and surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.
Prostate cancer occurs mostly in men that are age 55 and older. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Blood in urine
- Difficulty holding back urine or starting urination
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Weak or interrupted urine flow
- Painful urination
When it comes to diagnosing cancer, we want to make sure we get as much information as we can. We use several different diagnostic and imaging tools, including:
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Digital mammography
- 3D mammography/tomosynthesis
Genetic counseling educates patients about how genetic conditions may affect them or their family. During a genetic counseling session, a genetic counselor will take a complete family and medical history and you will learn more about your cancer risk, the potential risk to other family members and other screening, management and treatment options.
Reasons someone may want to have genetic counseling include:
- Contracting cancer at age 50 or younger
- Contracting cancer that develops in both organs, such as breasts, ovaries or kidneys
- Having cancers that have occurred in more than one generation
- Having family members with known genetic mutations
- Having one family member who has two or more cancers
- Having rare cancers or tumors, such as sarcoma or male breast cancer
- Having two or more close relatives who have the same type of cancer or related cancers
What happens at a genetic counseling appointment?
After family and medical histories have been assessed and you have been given pertinent introductory information, your counselor will then schedule genetic testing. However, deciding whether or not to have genetic testing is a personal choice and should only be scheduled after you carefully consider the benefits, risks and limits of each test.
Once you have your test results, you and your counselor can talk about how the result affects cancer screening, treatment, and management, as well as the testing recommendations for other relatives.
Examples of hereditary cancer concerns
Heredity plays a significant role in some types of cancer, including, breast, ovarian and colon cancer. Some specific examples of what to look for are mentioned below.
Breast and ovarian cancer
- You or a close relative had breast cancer at an early age (50 years old or younger).
- You had breast cancer at any age and a close relative had breast cancer earlier than 50.
- You had a “triple negative” breast cancer.
- You had ovarian cancer at any age.
- You or a close relative had bilateral breast cancer.
- You or a close relative had breast and ovarian cancer.
- There are 3 close relatives on the same side of the family with either breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancers diagnosed at any age.
- You have Ashkenazi Jewish heritage and were diagnosed with breast cancer at any age.
- You are a male with breast cancer or have a close male relative with breast cancer.
- Your close relative carries a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.
Colon and uterine cancer
- You had colon or uterine cancer diagnosed at 50 years old or younger.
- You had two colon cancers, or colon AND uterine cancer at any age.
- You had two close relatives with colon cancer; one diagnosed at 55 or younger.
- You had three close relatives with colorectal and/or uterine cancer at any age.
- You or a close relative had 10 or more total colon polyps.
- You or a relative had abnormal tumor screening results.
Does insurance cover genetic testing?
Many insurance plans cover genetic testing. Most testing labs will obtain pre-authorization from your insurance carrier before testing occurs. If there are high out-of-pocket expenses, the lab will contact you for approval before beginning the test. The genetic counselor can help you find out what your insurance will pay for.
Cancer treatment options are different depending on the patient and the type and stage of the cancer. A wide range of treatment services are available, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgical options including brain stereotactic radiosurgery, or, "gamma knife." Talk with your doctor to see what is the best course of treatment for you.
Brain stereotactic radiosurgery
Brain stereotactic radiosurgery uses a sophisticated instrument to pinpoint and deliver precise beams of radiation to brain tumors and other brain abnormalities. It destroys any abnormalities without harming normal brain tissue or adjacent nerves and blood vessels.
Since there is no surgical incision to expose the inside of the brain, the risk of surgical complications is reduced. The treatment is virtually painless and does not require general anesthesia. Because it is non-invasive, there is no scarring or disfigurement and little risk of infection.
Treatment can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as two hours, depending on the number of times you are repositioned and the dose of radiation used. Recovery time is brief, there are no immediate side effects and virtually no post-procedure discomfort. You will most likely be treated in one session and go home the same day to return to your normal routine.
This approach is sometimes referred to as "gamma knife surgery" because it typically involves technology from the Gamma Knife brand.