Mission Cancer Care provides cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, supportive care and survivorship with an emphasis on convenience for our patients and their families with a team approach to cancer care. That means our patients are able to visit with a number of our specialist in one location, often in one appointment, providing them with one-stop cancer care. Additionally, our cancer specialists are able to conference together easily through Cancer Conferences, Multidisciplinary Clinic, and Multidisciplinary Rounding to discuss options and to establish the best course of action for each patient.
Types of Cancers Treated
We treat a wide range of cancers at Mission Cancer Services. See the list below for the types of cancers we treat here at Mission Hospital:
- Breast Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Gynecologic Cancer
- Head and Neck Cancers
- Melanoma and Non-melanoma Skin Cancer
- Leukemia, Lymphoma and Other Blood Disorders
- Brain and Spine Tumors
Your First Visit
Gather Your Information
- Complete your Patient Self-Assessment Tool and bring with you to your first visit.
- Bring any medical information related to your diagnosis that you have been asked to bring. The Patient Representative will inform you of information that is required for your first visit. This may include diagnostic images, pathology slides and reports.
- Bring a list of all medications, prescription and nonprescription, you are currently taking. This includes vitamins, nutritional supplements and over-the-counter medications.
- Bring a list of all physicians with whom you would like us to communicate. Please include the doctor’s full name, address, phone number and email address if possible.
- Bring a list of any known allergies that you have.
- Bring a journal of your symptoms.
- Bring information about your family history.
Other Items to Consider
- A list of questions you would like to ask the physician
- Comfortable clothing, like a sweater or jacket to keep you warm
- A family member or significant other for support
- A notebook to take notes
Mission Breast Program:
Expert Personal Communications with Quality Care
We understand that an abnormal mammogram or breast biopsy can create great fear and uncertainty. It is common for women to have a multitude of difficult questions and concerns that require the immediate need for qualified, helpful, communication combined with expert care - before all the details are worked out.
We, at the Mission Breast Program, are here to help patients and help referring Doctors manage the uncertainty, the complexity and alleviate her fear.
Our Team of Breast Experts has a deep and broad knowledge base combined with years of experience in treating breast problems and breast cancer. Just as important: we specialize in continuity, coordination, personalized discussions and a passionate culture of quality breast care.
When it matters most, you are not alone - the Mission Breast Program.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment call (855) 213-2500.
What is chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy (also called chemo) is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells.
How does chemotherapy work?
Chemotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. But it can also harm healthy cells that divide quickly, such as those that line your mouth and intestines or cause your hair to grow. Damage to healthy cells may cause side effects. Often, side effects get better or go away after chemotherapy is over.
What does chemotherapy do?
- Depending on your type of cancer and how advanced it is, chemotherapy can:
- Cure cancer - when chemotherapy destroys cancer cells to the point that your doctor can no longer detect them in your body and they will not grow back.
- Control cancer - when chemotherapy keeps cancer from spreading, it slows its growth, or destroys cancer cells that have spread to other parts of your body.
- Ease cancer symptoms (also called palliative care) - when chemotherapy shrinks tumors that are causing pain or pressure.
How is chemotherapy used?
- Sometimes, chemotherapy is used as the only cancer treatment. But more often, you will get chemotherapy along with surgery, radiation therapy, or biological therapy. Chemotherapy can:
- Make a tumor smaller before surgery or radiation therapy. This is called neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.
- Destroy cancer cells that may remain after surgery or radiation therapy. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy.
- Help radiation therapy and biological therapy work better.
How to prepare for your chemotherapy treatment
- Learn ahead of time about your chemo. One of your goals is probably to see your chemo treatment through as prescribed. In order to gain all the information needed, you may:
- Have an open dialogue with your doctor and care team.
- Ask about what chemo side effects you should expect and how to minimize these side effects
- A change in a person's condition caused by taking a drug, using a medical device, or through another type of treatment.
Understanding your treatment plan can help you in many ways:
- You'll know what to expect from treatment
- You may feel less anxious knowing more
- You may learn how to avoid certain treatment interruptions
- Aim to get through chemo as your doctor has prescribed it. Doing so may improve your odds for meeting treatment goals
Lung Screening FAQs
Yearly lung screening with low-dose CT (LDCT) has been shown to save lives by finding lung cancer early, when it is easier to treat. This handout answers many questions that people have about LDCT lung screening. If you have any additional questions, please call (828) 213-2506.
What is the goal of LDCT lung screening?
The goal of LDCT lung screening is to save lives. Without LDCT lung screening, lung cancer is usually not found until a person develops symptoms. At that time, the cancer is much harder to treat.
Am I eligible for lung cancer screening?
You are eligible for an annual LDCT to screen for lung cancer if you meet these criteria:
- Age 55 to 77 years old
- A 30 "pack year" or greater history of smoking
- A "pack year" is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years you have smoked
- Current smoker or have quit within the past 15 years
- No symptoms of lung cancer such as new cough, worsening shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood or chest pain
- Able and willing to tolerate treatment if lung cancer is discovered
Why does it matter if I have symptoms?
Certain symptoms can be a sign that you have a condition in your lungs that should be evaluated and treated, if necessary, by your healthcare provider. These symptoms include fever, chest pain, a new or changing cough, shortness of breath that you have never felt before, coughing up blood or unexplained weight loss. Having any of these symptoms can greatly affect the results of the lung screening and may actually delay the treatment you may need.
Do I need to have an LDCT lung screening exam every year?
Yes. LDCT lung screening exam is recommended every year until you are 77.
How effective is LDCT lung screening at preventing death from lung cancer?
Studies have shown that LDCT lung screening can lower the risk of death from lung cancer by 20 percent in people who are at high risk.
How can I get screened for lung cancer?
LDCT screening for lung cancer requires a referral from your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your risk for the disease and discuss your eligibility for screening.
How is the exam performed?
LDCT lung screening is one of the easiest screening exams you can have. The exam takes less than 10 seconds. No medications are given, and no needles are used. You can eat before and after the exam. You do not even need to get changed as long as the clothing on your chest does not contain metal. You must, however, be able to hold your breath for at least 6 seconds while the chest scan is being taken.
Are there any risks to LDCT lung screening?
There are several risks and limitations of LDCT lung screening. We want to make sure that we have done a good job explaining these to you, so please let us know if you have any questions. Your healthcare provider who ordered the screening may want to talk with you more about this:
- Radiation exposure: LDCT lung screening uses radiation to create images of your lung. Radiation can increase a person’s risk of cancer. By using special techniques, the amount of radiation in LDCT lung screening is small—about the same amount a person would receive from a screening mammogram. Further, your doctor has determined that the benefits of the screening outweigh the risks of being exposed to the small amount of radiation from this exam.
- False negatives: No test, including LDCT lung screening, is perfect. It is possible that you may have a medical condition, including lung cancer, that is not found during your exam. This is called a false negative.
- False positives/additional testing: LDCT lung screening may find something in the lung that could be cancer but in fact is not. This is called a false positive. False positive tests often cause anxiety. In order to make sure these findings are not cancer, you may need to have more tests. These tests will be performed only if you give us permission. Occasionally, patients need a procedure, such as a biopsy, that can have potential side effects. For more information on false positives, see “What can I expect from the results?” below.
- Findings not related to lung cancer: Your LDCT lung screening exam also captures images of areas of your body next to your lungs. In a small percentage of cases (5-10 percent), the CT scan will show an abnormal finding in one of these areas, such as your kidneys, adrenal glands, liver or thyroid. This finding may not be serious; however, you may need to be examined further. Your healthcare provider who ordered your exam can help determine what, if any, additional testing you may need.
Is lung cancer screening covered by insurance?
LDCT to screen for lung cancer is covered by Medicare and private insurance plans for eligible patients.
What if lung cancer screening is not covered by my insurance?
A cash pay option of $250.00 is available, at time of service, for patients who are uninsured or do not have plans that cover LDCT lung screening.
What can I expect from the results?
About 1 out of 10 LDCT lung screening exams will find something in the lung that may require additional imaging or evaluation. Most of the time these findings are lung nodules. Lung nodules are very small collections of tissue in the lung. These nodules are very common, and the vast majority—more than 97 percent—are benign (not cancer).
Less commonly, lung nodules are cancer. If a small lung nodule is found to be cancer, the cancer can be cured more than 90 percent of the time. That is why we are screening you. To distinguish the large number of benign (noncancerous) nodules from the few nodules that are in fact cancer, we may need to get more images before your next yearly screening exam. If the nodule has suspicious features (for example, it is large, has an odd shape or grows over time), we will refer you to a specialist for further testing.
When will I get my results?
You will receive the results of your exam within 2 weeks. If you do not hear from us within 2 weeks, please be sure to call us at (828) 213-0695.
Will my doctor also receive the results?
Yes. Your healthcare provider who ordered your exam will receive a copy of your results.
Mission Breast Imaging
Mission Health System provides a patient centered approach to breast cancer detection, prevention, patient and staff education, research and treatment making it one of the leading centers for breast health care in the region. What makes our Breast Health Program unique, however, is not the number of patients seen, but the exceptional care they receive every day. Each member of the technical staff is registered in Breast Imaging, and our board certified radiologists in Breast Imaging are all highly specialized to provide the best care possible.
Mission Health System encourages women to be active participants in their own health care. Having your breast imaging services at one of our locations ensures state-of-the-art quality breast imaging and diagnostic services including Mammography and Breast ultrasound. Select locations are now offering 3D mammography, Breast MRI and interventional breast procedures as well.
Call today to make an appointment at one of our convenient locations:
- Angel Medical Center - 120 Riverview St. Franklin, NC 28734
Scheduling: (828) 369-4259
- Blue Ridge Regional Hospital - 125 Hospital Dr. Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Scheduling: (828) 766-1760 / (828) 766-1761
- Highlands-Cashiers Hospital - 190 Hospital Dr. Highlands, NC 28711
Scheduling: (828) 369-4259
- Hope Women’s Imaging Center - 100 Ridgefield Court, Suite C Asheville, NC 28806
Scheduling: (828) 670-1876
- McDowell Hospital - 430 Rankin Dr. Marion, NC 28752
Scheduling: (828) 659-5160 / (828) 659-5163
- Mission Breast Center - 534 Biltmore Avenue Asheville, NC 28801
Scheduling: (828) 213-9729
- Transylvania Regional Hospital 260 Hospital Dr. Brevard, NC 28712
Scheduling: (828) 883-5161
Screening Services Only Provided at these Locations
- Mission Breast Center - 2695 Hendersonville Rd. Arden, NC 28704
Scheduling: (828) 213-9729
- Mission Breast Center - 2 Town Square Blvd. Ste. 110 Asheville, NC 28803
Scheduling: (828) 213-9729
- Mission Imaging Services - 360 Hospital Dr. Clyde, NC 28791
Scheduling: (828) 213-9729
MRI Services Only Provided at this Location
- Mission Imaging Services - 222 Asheland Ave. Asheville, NC 28801
Scheduling: (828) 213-9729
SECU Cancer Center
Mission Health SECU Cancer Center is a state-of-the-art facility built in 2012 that is Gold LEED certified. The clinical facility serves patients not only in Buncombe County but also across the western North Carolina region. The center offers radiation oncology services, an infusion suite, pediatric oncology services, research services, personalized medicine, access to breast cancer services and a variety of support services that attend to the psychological, emotional and educational needs of our patients. One of the unique aspects of care at Mission Health Cancer Center is the holistic approach to Cancer Care and the personalized care that is offered to all patients. Mission’s cancer services are consolidated in fostering a team approach at SECU Cancer Center and Hope Cancer Center enabling patients to stay in one location for treatment but also offer the opportunity for patients to receive chemotherapy closer to home in our regional infusion centers while receiving the same standard of excellence in care.
At SECU Cancer Center, we provide comprehensive cancer care from diagnosis to assertive treatment, all in a modern facility that includes superb technology, and comfortable, effective treatment delivery. Evidence-based treatment plans incorporate the latest research. Our Resource Center provides educational materials to serve our patients and their families.
The following services are now housed in our new center:
- Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program
- Zeis Children's Cancer Center
- Radiation Therapy
- Mountain Radiation Oncology (828-213-0100)
- Infusion Center for Adult Patients
- Palliative Care Offices
- Medical Oncology through Cancer Care of Western NC
Personalized Medicine in Cancer CareMission’s Personalized Cancer Medicine Program utilizes genetic or genomic testing whenever possible to identify specific mutations in a patient’s tumor and target those mutations with specific drugs.
Soon the program will utilize not only the genetic information found
in the tumor, but also the genetic information the patient has
inherited from his/her parents to further enhance treatment for each
By utilizing both types of genetic information (from the tumor and inherited), cancer patients will have the opportunity to receive cutting-edge care locally, potentially reduce severe side effects from drugs and take drugs at a dose that their body can tolerate.
For more information about our Personalized Medicine program for non-cancer patients, click here.
What is a Personalized Cancer Medicine Program?
A Personalized Medicine Program integrates all relevant information to enhance care for individuals and populations, including family history, lifestyle, demographic, genetic and genomic factors.
Together with studies from clinical research, this information is utilized to individualize care and management of disease, especially for chronic conditions. Mission’s Personalized Cancer Program focuses on enhancing care for the cancer patient.
What are the goals and vision for this program:
Our overall goal is to enhance and optimize the quality, safety and effectiveness of the care of each individual cancer patient using evidence-based practices.
Mission’s Personalized Medicine Program will initially focus on predicting an individual cancer patient’s response to anti-cancer drugs based on the genetic or molecular characteristics of the patient’s tumor.
Whenever possible, we will also utilize genetic characteristics of the individual patient to minimize toxicity and maximize effectiveness of drug therapy.
How does personalized medicine work?
In cancer patients, tests are performed on the patient’s individual tumor to analyze mutations that are associated with tumor growth. We then try to match the tumor mutation(s) to drugs that target those mutations.
By using “targeted therapy” we can utilize the most effective drug to target (and hopefully destroy) the tumor cells that carry the mutation, thereby not destroying normal cells in the process. This should lead to less toxicity and more effective management of the cancer.
Why is this of value to patients and providers?
Using genetic and molecular information to guide treatment decisions provides a more science-based, rather than trial-and-error approach, to treating each individual cancer patient.
Providing these cutting-edge services at Mission gives patients and their families the opportunity to receive this care locally.
Building on the existing expertise at Mission, the Personalized Medicine Program prepares our region for the practice of genomic medicine--utilizing the most important and evidence-based information to help manage our patients with cancer and other chronic diseases.
Breast Care Nurse Navigator Services
The nurse navigator provides education, coordination, resources, emotional support and advocacy while working closely with the breast interdisciplinary team. The nurse navigator can provide:
- Assistance with coordination of care
- Customized education about individual breast diagnosis and treatment options
- Assistance in making informed decisions about treatment and care
- Navigation of resources offered by Mission and throughout the community
- Emotional support
- Assistance with a weekly pre-treatment planning breast conference coordinated with the patient’s medical team.
- Facilitates a monthly support group, “In Good Company” for women with cancer and a primary focus is on various issues related to breast cancer.
- Assists with Ladies Night Out: a monthly program in our community to provide free mammograms for screening and early detection of breast cancer for women ages 40 to 64 who are under/uninsured and qualify for services.The program is funded through Mission Cancer Services, Mission Foundation and sponsored with the Buncombe County Health Department ( BCCCP) and Mission Imaging and other community groups. Call 828-250-6006 or 828-250-6119 for more information.
The nurse navigator offers personalized support and advocacy through each phase of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. We are Registered Nurses with multiple certifications in oncology and breast health care. Our goal is to see that you have the resources, expertise, and support you need for a successful recovery. Please call us whenever you have questions, concerns or needs. We look forward to being a part of your care team and helping you navigate this experience.
To contact our nurse navigators please call 828-213-2500:
Janet Magruder, RN, BSN, OCN, CBCN
Work cell phone: 828-776-5091
Debbie Kent, RN, BSN, OCN, ACM
Office: 822-213 2508
Work cell phone: 828- 777-7872
Mission Breast Program High Risk Clinic
The Mission Breast Program High Risk Breast Clinic is designed to educate women about their individual risk for breast and ovarian cancer, plan a strategy to reduce risk and initiate screenings to identify cancer as early as possible.
Who should be evaluated at the high risk clinic?
- A first degree relative with breast cancer (mother, sister, father)
- A relative with breast cancer younger than age 50
- A family member with ovarian cancer
- More than 2 family members on one side of the family (mother or father) with breast cancer
- A family member with a BRCA ½ mutation
- A history of a breast biopsy showing atypical lobular or ductal hyperplasia or Lobular Carcinoma in Situ
- Ashkenazi Jewish Heritage
- Multiple family members with cancer
What can you expect from your visit?
- You will be evaluated by a physician who will obtain a family and personal history and perform a breast exam
- You will receive a comprehensive risk assessment
- You will receive a personalized plan with recommendations for screening, follow – up exams, and risk reduction measures
- You may be referred for additional exams, genetic counseling or nutrition services
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
You do not need a referral to be seen in the clinic. Be assured, that your regular doctors will be informed of your visit to the clinic and will receive a copy of your recommendations.
The high risk breast clinic seeks to empower women to evaluate their breast cancer risks and take control of their health to reduce risk and reduce fear of breast cancer.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (828)670-5665.
Angela Hopper Shares Her Story About Lung Cancer and Treatment
Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose or treat diseases. People who take part in cancer clinical trials help researchers learn more about cancer and help develop improved treatments. The treatments that patients receive today are based on the results of past clinical trials.
Why does Mission SECU Cancer Center take part in clinical trials?
- Clinical trials are one of the ways to improve cancer care. Mission SECU Cancer Center takes part in clinical trials to maintain high standards for cancer treatment.
How do I decide to take part in a clinical trial?
- Choosing to join a clinical trial is a decision that only you, those close to you and your medical team can make. As a treatment option, a clinical trial has possible benefits as well as drawbacks.
Mission Cancer Care Locations
Zeis Cancer Suite at SECU Cancer Center
21 Hospital Drive
Asheville, NC 28801
Monday - Friday 8:00am-6:00pm
Angel Cancer Care
834 Depot Street
Franklin, NC 28734
Cancer Care of WNC - Asheville
21 Hospital Drive
Asheville, NC 28801
Cancer Care of WNC - Brevard
89 A Hospital Drive
Brevard, NC 28712
Cancer Care of WNC - Franklin
834 Depot Street, Suite 210
Franklin, NC 28734
Cancer Care of WNC - McDowell
430 Rankin Drive
Marion, NC 28752
Cancer Care of WNC - Spruce Pine
125 Hospital Drive
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Cancer Care of WNC - Sylva
609 Asheville Highway
Sylva, NC 28779
Mission Breast Center
534 Biltmore Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
Mission Breast Center at Mission Pardee Health Campus
2695 Hendersonville Road
Arden, NC 28704
Mission Breast Center - South at Biltmore Park
2 Town Square Blvd. Ste. 110
Asheville, NC 28803
Hope Women's Cancer Center
100 Ridgefield Ct.
Asheville, NC 28816
Brevard Cancer & Infusion Center
89 Hospital Drive, Suite A
Brevard, NC 28712