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Services After Cancer Diagnosis

Southwest Florida Cancer Care

When faced with a cancer diagnosis, it's common to feel scared and overwhelmed. That's why our nurse navigators are here to help alleviate stress by guiding patients through their cancer treatment plans.

Cancer Treatment Centers in Fort Myers and Estero

The Lee Health Cancer Institute extends its support to patients across Florida, providing a wide range of comprehensive treatment options. Our team of highly skilled medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgical oncologists is dedicated to delivering exceptional care.

What Cancer Tests Can Be Done?

When a physician identifies a potential problem, he or she will order a number of diagnostic tests including:

  • Bone Marrow Biopsy: This procedure takes a sample of bone marrow to test for abnormalities. Bone marrow makes most blood cells, such as red and white blood cells and platelets. Technicians perform the biopsy by inserting a needle into the bone (usually the hip) and removing the marrow sample during a sterile procedure.
  • CT Scan (Computed Axial Tomography): A CT takes pictures of the inside of the body. This painless, radiographic technique produces a film that represents a detailed cross-section of tissue structure.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A MRI uses a strong magnetic field and a computer to take pictures of the body. MRI is especially useful in evaluating the brain, neck, spinal cord and blood vessels.
  • Nuclear Medical Scan: This technique uses an injected radioactive material and a scanner to determine the size, shape, location and function of various organs, structures and body parts. 
  • PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography): A PET scan looks at different parts of the body to see how they are working. PET scans check blood flow and how well the tissues in that area of the body use oxygen and food.
  • Scintigraphy: The radiographic procedure determines lymph node involvement with a primary tumor. We inject a radiographic isotope around the tumor and then take an image after it has traveled to the lymph node group that serves as its primary drainage.

Cancer Rehabilitation Program

Helping cancer survivors restore their quality of life

Cancer and its treatment cause you pain, and keep you from doing the things that you enjoy. But no matter how long ago you were diagnosed, cancer rehabilitation will help. The certified experts in Lee Health's cancer rehabilitation program will find the approach that works for you so you can minimize you symptoms, feel better, and live your best possible life.

Personal Treatment Plan

Our experts believe that health care should be personal. So as a cancer rehabilitation patient, you will get complete and individualized treatment that targets exactly what you want and need- all so you can overcome challenges that interfere with your daily life.

We address common symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness/tingling of hands or feet
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Joint stiffness
  • Lymphedema (limb swelling)
  • Weakness
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Balance and walk concerns
  • Speech and swallowing issues

Your individualized rehabilitation plan will focus on specific goals:

  • Increasing strength and energy
  • Managing pain
  • Improving your physical and cognitive functioning
  • Enhancing your quality of life
  • Incorporating nutrition, exercise, and better sleep
Learn More

The Cancer Rehabilitation Program at Lee Health provides comprehensive and coordinated outpatient rehabilitation from a multi-disciplinary team of cancer-certified clinicians.


For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 239-343-6350

Newer and better forms of cancer treatment have increased survival rates in recent years, giving people more time to enjoy life with the people they love. But did you know that some of those treatments may cause heart damage, especially if you are already at risk for heart disease?

That’s why we want you know about our cardio-oncologists, who work to protect and heal your heart, both during and after cancer treatment. They are trained to understand how cancer treatments affect the heart, and they work closely with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, oncologic surgeons, and others to monitor and prevent serious heart problems.

Why is this program needed?

  • The number of cancer survivors is dramatically increasing.
  • Among adult cancer survivors, 30 percent die of cardiac disease related to cancer treatment.
  • Among childhood cancer survivors, more will die from heart disease related to cancer therapy than from recurrent cancer

Who benefits?

  • The number of cancer survivors is dramatically increasing
  • Among adult cancer survivors, 30 percent die of cardiac disease related to cancer treatment
  • Among childhood cancer survivors, more will die from heart disease related to cancer therapy than from recurrent cancer

Types of heart damage

  • The number of cancer survivors is dramatically increasing
  • Among adult cancer survivors, 30 percent die of cardiac disease related to cancer treatment
  • Among childhood cancer survivors, more will die from heart disease related to cancer therapy than from recurrent cancer
Learn More

Patients with cancer may have a higher risk of developing the cardiovascular disease since cancer therapies may affect the heart and vascular systems.

Lung Cancer Screening Program

Screening Means Survival

The benefits of a lung cancer screening speak for itself: The 5-year survival rate dramatically improves to 68-92 percent if we diagnose lung cancer in Stage 1. A Stage 4 diagnosis, on the other hand, results in a zero to 10 percent survival rate. So the sooner a cancer is found, the better.

The screening program provides individual monitoring, assessment, and a low-dose lung CT screening to current and former smokers who are at risk for developing lung cancer. Detecting lung cancer early means better treatment and more opportunities for patients to take advantage of the most comprehensive options.

Through this program, we provide screening for patients who meet the following criteria:

  • Are 50-77 years old
  • Have a 20 pack-a-year smoking history*
  • Are a current smoker or quit less than 15 years ago
  • Have no signs or symptoms of lung cancer

*What is a 20 pack-a-year smoking history? This is the number of years smoked multiplied by the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day. For example, 1 pack/day x 20 years = 20 packs-a- year.

How Does the Screening work?

The scan requires no IVs or medications. You simply lie still on a table, slowly moveing through the scanner. The computer takes pictures and puts them together for an incredibly detailed image that identifies small nodules or other abnormalities in your lungs. You will also have the full support of our dedicated cancer experts and friendly staff, who will guide you and your family every step of the way.

Worried about Radiation Exposure?

The scan’s radiation exposure is more than a regular X-ray but less than a regular CT scan. We hope patients understand that the radiation in a low-dose CT is about equal to what you receive in your natural environment over six months.

If no problems are found, we will recommend the screening each year until you are no longer a candidate or you reach age 77.

What if an Abnormality is Found?

Please remember that an abnormality does not automatically mean you have cancer. Our lung cancer screening often uncovers COPD, coronary artery calcification, aortic aneurysm, or other conditions.

But if an abnormality is suspicious for lung cancer, our team -- in collaboration with your primary care provider -- will immediately send you for further testing or to a specialist who will initiate a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Where and How Much?

For your convenience, Lee Health offers low-dose CT scans at various locations throughout Lee County, including Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Estero.

Worried about payment? Medicare began national lung cancer screening coverage in 2015, and most insurance will help with costs. If you are uninsured, Lee Health offers a self-pay program and financial assistance if you meet the criteria. Please let us know how we can help.

Learn More

Physicians recommend lung cancer screening for current and former smokers. Our expert cancer team will provide quality treatment at the Lee Health Regional Cancer Center.

Palliative Care

It’s all about quality of life: Our palliative care specialists help patients feel relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of serious illness. We collaborate with other disciplines – pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and other health professionals – to determine a plan of care that addresses the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs of each patient.

Palliative care can be delivered at the same time as life-prolonging care or as the main focus. All cancer patients get screened for palliative care at their initial visit, at appropriate intervals, and as clinically indicated by National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.

Lee Palliative Care sees patients:

  • Inpatient
  • Outpatient
  • Clinic
  • Long term care
  • Home care
  • Telemedicine

If you need to speak with our team of palliative care professionals, please call 239-343-9560

Learn More

When you need relief from pain and are faced with difficult decisions, our team of experts will work with to understand what you are going through and assist in improving quality of life.

Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic

If you have any questions or would like a referral to the Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic, please call our nurse navigators at 239-343-9554

The Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic at the Regional Cancer Center helps newly diagnosed breast cancer patients or patients looking for a second opinion for their treatment options. Your physician can refer you to the clinic, or you can refer yourself.


You and your family want a comprehensive consultation and evaluation in your time of need. And many recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer require thorough collaboration among all kinds of cancer experts.

The Regional Cancer Center’s Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic brings these experts together to evaluate your case and engage you and your family in the treatment plan. Normally this kind of process might take weeks to develop -- but we have all the experts in one place. That means the plan is complete in a single day, and your treatment begins quickly.

Clinic Visit

You will meet the medical oncologist, surgeon, and radiation oncologist. Each doctor will talk to you one-on-one, complete an assessment, discuss treatment choices, and answer all of your questions.

The medical team will discuss your case. The physicians -- along with the breast cancer nurse navigator, pathologist, radiologist, genetic counselor, clinical oncology pharmacist, and when necessary, a plastic surgeon -- evaluate your tests and health history. Using National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, they will put together your personal plan of care.

The nurse navigator will discuss the plan with you and then help schedule all of your appointments. We always want to make sure there is no confusion and you are confident about your next steps.

Our Goal: We want you to leave the Regional Cancer Center feeling empowered and informed. We want you to have the best tools available so you can make the best possible decision about your treatment and care.

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    Breast Cancer

    Discover comprehensive breast cancer resources and screening for Southwest Florida residents. Access educational, medical, and breast cancer awareness materials to help support those diagnosed with breast cancer in our community.

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    Breast Health

    It’s important to find breast cancer early, and that’s why the our Breast Health Centers use advanced technology for the most accurate diagnosis possible. At Lee Health we have imaging, screening, and advanced diagnostics for early detection and peace of mind.