Cancer Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho

The Idaho Cancer Center at EIRMC has oncologists, radiation oncologists and state-of-the-art equipment to ensure patients get the best diagnostic tests and treatments in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

To speak with Dr. Daniel Miller about cancer care, please call (208) 227-2700.

Eastern Idaho Regional was the first facility in Idaho to offer highly specialized care for gynecologic cancers, including ovarian cancer and cervical cancer. We are still the only hospital in southeast Idaho offering subspecialty treatment options for women fighting cancers of the reproductive system.

Together with Gamma West Cancer Services, we provide radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and interventional oncologic treatments.

Special elements of the cancer program include:

  • Nurses and radiation therapists who specialize in the care of cancer patients’ unique needs
  • A comprehensive cancer patient guidebook for use at the hospital and home
  • A patient journal to help you track your progress through treatment and recovery
  • Clear and concise educational brochures
  • On-site Cancer Resource Center with education, nutrition counseling and learning resources
  • Patient amenities, including between-meal snacks and pre-warmed blankets
  • Social worker and spiritual care services at the hospital
  • Availability to host support group meetings in our Cancer Center

Oncology nurse navigator

If you are diagnosed with cancer, our cancer nurse navigator will help you and your family navigate through the cancer journey, from discovery to recovery. The nurse navigator will educate you on your diagnosis and treatment, coordinate care and communication between providers and advocates for you to ensure your wishes are conveyed to all our cancer care team members.

Diagnosing cancer

In most cases, the earlier cancer is diagnosed, the greater your chances for a full recovery. That's why it's important to know how cancer is detected. One of the most effective ways is by simply scheduling regular medical check-ups and cancer screenings with your healthcare provider.

Also ask your doctor about your cancer risk, which could be based on age, medical history, lifestyle, family history and several other factors.

Here are some off the most common ways to detect cancer:

  • Self-exam: Breast self-exams and testicular self-exams  effective methods of early cancer detection. Women should examine their breasts for changes or abnormalities at least once a month, and men, especially men between 15 and 34 years old, should examine themselves regularly as well.
  • Physician exam: Exams performed by physicians are also important tools for detecting cancer. These exams include Pap smears and digital rectal, breast, testicular, skin, thyroid, lymph node and oral exams. People 20 years old and older should schedule health exams regularly.
  • Lab work: Your doctor may order certain laboratory tests if it is suspected that you may have cancer. Results from these tests can provide doctors with information about the health of a number of systems in your body and will help them determine if cancer is present.
  • Medical imaging: At Eastern Idaho Regional, we possess a full set of diagnostic imaging tools, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan and digital mammography. These tools help us locate and diagnose abnormalities and track the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
  • Biopsy: If preliminary screening tests indicate that a patient may have cancer, a biopsy may be ordered to make a higher-level assessment. A small amount of tissue from the suspected area is removed and sent to a lab where's it's checked for cancer cells.
  • Surgery: When less invasive methods fail to provide adequate information about suspected cancerous tissues, surgery may be needed to get a better look. These rare instances are considered major surgery and are avoided if at all possible.

Cancer treatment

Idaho Cancer Center is equipped to treat cancer in the most effective and comfortable way for our patients. On-site pathology (tumor analysis) and other laboratory services allow our providers to learn more about your cancer and the best way to treat it.

Brachytherapy

The Idaho Cancer Center at Eastern Idaho Regional is proud to be the only facility in the region offering advanced high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy. This is a state-of-the-art cancer treatment for people with many types of cancer, including prostate cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer, among others.

Low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy is widely performed in our region. However, HDR brachytherapy provides a more precise treatment in only a few minutes, while sparing healthy tissue from radiation. HDR brachytherapy can be performed in three to 10 treatments, depending on the type of cancer being treated.

With LDR brachytherapy, the patient is radioactive for six months following treatment. However, with HDR brachytherapy, the patient is not radioactive after treatment, eliminating any radiation exposure for family.

Surgical oncology

Surgical oncology is the surgical removal of cancer. A pre-operative visit to the hospital will be scheduled a few days before the cancer surgery. You will fill out forms and undergo any necessary tests. This is also a good time to notify staff of any special needs you have, such as dietary restrictions and allergies.

Your doctor will have a set of instructions for you to follow before surgery, as well as after you are discharged from the hospital.

Visit our cancer surgery FAQ page to learn more.

Radiation therapy

Eastern Idaho Regional is proud to offer radiation therapy using the TrueBeam™ Linear Accelerator to deliver more precise radiation treatment for people fighting cancer. This technology allows us to deliver radiation treatment in a matter of minutes.

Visit our radiation therapy page to learn more about radiation treatments.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy (chemo) is a medication used to treat cancer. The goals of chemo is to cure cancer, keep it from spreading, slow its growth and relieve cancer symptoms. Your doctor may suggest more than one chemo drug because some medications work better together.

You may receive chemo:

  • Through an IV (intravenous)
  • Through central venous catheters
  • Via implanted ports in the chest
  • Orally by mouth
  • Via an injection into the muscle (intramuscular)
  • Via an injection into the spinal fluid (intrathecal)

Your chemo dosage schedule may last from a few weeks up to a year, with varying cycle frequency. Treatments are followed by rest cycles to give your body time to build healthy new cells and regain strength.

Below are common chemotherapy questions to help you prepare for your treatment.

Inpatients will check-in at the hospital's front desk, where you will be directed to the oncology department on the fifth floor.

Outpatients will check-in at the hospital’s emergency entrance. Let the staff know you are here for infusion.

If you are an inpatient, we suggest you bring comfortable bedclothes, including a robe, pajamas or nightgown and slippers. You might wish to bring in your own books or magazines for entertainment and personal pilows for comfort. The most important item to bring is a list of your medications and nutritional supplements. Be sure to include the correct name, dosage and frequency. Please include any over-the- counter medications and herbs you take as well.

If you are an outpatient, you will normally be seated in a chair for your chemotherapy, unless you are told otherwise. Wear comfortable, non-binding clothing and bring in your own books, magazines, music, etc. for entertainment. You may invite an adult loved one to stay with you during your treatment.

Some, but not all, chemotherapy drugs may cause nausea and vomiting if you do not take any preventive measures. Your healthcare team knows which medications are likely to cause nausea and vomiting, and you may be prescribed additional anti-nausea medications to take before, during or after a chemotherapy treatment. We also give patients “angel mints” that help calm nausea.

Some treatments may cause hair loss on your head and other parts of the body. Generally your hair will grow back after treatment. Your doctor knows which treatments are likely to cause hair loss. We keep hats and scarves are on-hand free of charge. We also provide you a wig catalog as a resource.

Chemotherapy is usually delivered systemically, so that both your healthy and cancerous tissues are exposed to the drug. Chemotherapy can be used this way because cancer cells are more vulnerable to treatment than healthy cells. However, your body’s healthy tissues need time to recover their strength.

Typically, you will receive an initial course of treatment, which will let the doctor know if the drug is effective against your cancer. Depending on your overall health afterward, you will receive additional courses necessary to destroy any remaining cancer cells in your body.

Additional cancer resources