Guided care from the start of your cancer journey.
Guided care from the start of your cancer journey.
The Dream Team
UW Medicine + Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center + Seattle Children’s = Getting you better together as the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
You and Our Experts
Cancer comes in many forms. We treat every patient as an individual, and you will find specialists for your type of cancer – from the rarest to the most common.
Life Beyond Treatment
Our programs are designed to support you and your loved ones before, during and after treatment.
Some of our common services:
We want to make sure you thrive after cancer. Because cancer and the treatments can result in long-lasting or late-onset effects, we’ll provide you with information and resources in your community to help you understand and manage the issues you may face after your cancer treatment is complete. At UW Medicine, we have a large team of social workers who make it their mission to provide patients with resources to help transition to life after treatment. This includes help with setting up transportation, housing, care resources back home and information on how to be prepared after treatment.
Emotional support is an important part of your treatment. Support groups and community resources can help you and your loved ones through treatment and recovery.
We believe in sharing our knowledge, discussing options and helping you make the most informed choices each step of the way. From caregiver retreats and supports for family members to appointments that preview the next steps in your care, we share our insights and experience empowering you to make decisions about your care.
For many people, hair loss from cancer treatment can be disheartening. The Beauty and Cancer program at UW Medical Center understands the emotional effects this can have on patients and has helped thousands of people feel confident about their appearance so they can focus on treatment. Established in 1989, the program provides free wigs, hats and scarves to cancer patients receiving care at UWMC and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. The goal is to help patients begin thinking in a new way about how he or she wants to look, and accessories are a fun way to experiment and help lift spirits.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 206.598.3604.
UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance provide a full spectrum of cancer management – from caring for patients who are newly diagnosed, to coordinating specialty care for patients with advanced forms of the disease. Our team includes medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, clinical pharmacists, nurses, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals with special training.
We’re pleased you want to validate and explore all of your care options and providers. If you or someone you care for is diagnosed with cancer, it’s common to want to get a second opinion before making a decision on treatment. A second opinion helps you to feel more confident about the decisions you make.
Our program is recognized every year by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best. Starting with helping you understand your diagnosis or providing a second opinion, to evaluating the right course of action for treatment, you will have a team of cancer experts working together to ensure you receive the most effective treatment options available today.
A specialized medical care, called palliative care, may be offered to help provide relief from the symptoms, pain and stresses of cancer and cancer treatments. Palliative care is available to anyone at any stage of their cancer disease. The team develops treatment plans that address the physical symptoms of the disease and its treatments, as well as the practical aspects of daily living during or after treatments, which may include support for emotional, social and spiritual needs. To find out more about our palliative care support services, ask your doctor.
When cancer therapies are no longer controlling the disease, our team helps our patients and their families find compassionate hospice care, also known as end-of-life care. This special type of care is often provided by a specially trained hospice team of nurses, social workers, chaplains and volunteers and may include medical, psychological and spiritual support. Our teams can assist patients and their families with understanding when and how to find the appropriate hospice care for them. To find out more about our hospice care support services, ask your doctor.
For many people who experience surviving cancer, the years after cancer treatment can bring physical and psychological challenges. Our physicians, nurses, researchers and psychologists are experts in survivorship, and will work with you and your primary care physician. Here are some resources and programs for adult survivors to help you to live well beyond cancer.
This is an important visit for you, and we will help you arrive prepared. During your visit, we will review your medical records and health insurance and can help you with financial matters. We recommend you bring a family member or friend with you for support and to help take notes, along with a list of questions to ask your doctor. Be prepared by having the following documents with you on your first visit:
- Insurance information, photo ID and referral information
- List of prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and supplements
- Completed medical history form
We also encourage you to arrive early to manage parking.
For some patients, their treatment plan includes surgery, certain types of radiation therapy, and clinical treatments that require 24-hour care (like some chemotherapies or blood and marrow transplants). This care will take place at UW Medical Center, #1 hospital in Seattle and Washington state. Our healthcare providers have specialized experience caring for people with cancer, and as part of your cancer team, they will work together to make your stay and care the best possible. This includes seamless coordination between all treatment locations, support for you and your family during your stay and helpful resources and information.
Our cancer specialists will help you understand your treatment options and where you can receive your care. Depending on your treatment plan, you may receive outpatient treatment at many of our locations, like one of our UW Medicine locations or the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. If your treatment plan requires surgery or in-hospital treatments, you will receive care at UW Medical Center. Pediatric patients receive similar inpatient services at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Your cancer care team will guide you on what is best for you and will work with your primary care provider as needed.
Myeloma, or multiple myeloma, is cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Plasma cells that grow abnormally and build up in the bone marrow, are called myeloma cells. Currently there is no cure, but treatment is available.
Myeloma affects different parts of the body, including the skull, spine, shoulders, pelvis and hips. Common symptoms can include frequent or prolonged infections, anemia and fatigue, bone pain or a broken bone not caused by injury and impaired kidney function.
Risk factors and causes
The cause of myeloma is unknown. Some patients may have been exposed to high doses of radiation or had ongoing exposure to certain chemicals. Most people diagnosed with this form of cancer are over the age of 60 and may have had a lifelong accumulation of toxic substances.
Symptoms of myeloma can be difficult to diagnose, as they may be similar to many other conditions. The diagnosis involves several tests, which may include: a blood and urine test, X-rays and a bone marrow biopsy.
Treatment options include non-chemotherapy drugs, standard chemo drugs and corticosteroids. Bone marrow transplant is another option. Most patients will undergo multiple treatment regimens. Advances in stem cell transplant, medication and supportive care have led to better survival rates.
Multiple myeloma survivors are at higher risk for getting other types of cancer. Along with the stage of a myeloma, other factors can also affect a person's prognosis. For instance, people who are younger or have better kidney function tend to do better than those who are older.