Cancer Care

If you have cancer, you’re still in control of your life and have choices about your care.

We believe there is no better place to fight cancer than with Kaiser Permanente. Our skilled doctors and responsive care teams are trained at a comprehensive range of treatments and can help you make choices about your care that are right for you and your family. We’re committed to caring for the whole you — body, mind, and spirit — at every point in your treatment.

When you bring together our team, our comprehensive services, and one-of-a kind patient experience, you have the foundation of cancer care that everyone deserves. Battling cancer is burden enough, which is why we remove a lot of typical insurance processes and financial hurdles so you can focus on your treatments and getting better.

Accreditation from Commission on Cancer (CoC)

In 2019, our cancer program received a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons. The accreditation recognizes that Kaiser Permanente provides the full range of cancer care: prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care.

What makes the way we deliver care superb?

Better prevention

The best defense against cancer is a healthy lifestyle and, we believe, having a great partner in health – Kaiser Permanente.

About prevention >

Better detection

Screening early is key to catching cancer, and other diseases and illnesses, at a state where treatments are less invasive and cure rates are higher.

About detection >

Better treatment

While you’re in treatment for cancer, we offer outstanding and cutting-edge care. Your treatments are personalized, and you and your family are important and active participants in all decisions.

About treatments >

Better outcomes

Cancer care is a team endeavor. That is why we not only bring a 360-degree approach to the cancer care itself, but provide an extensive infrastructure that surrounds your treatment  with intention to provide the best outcomes.

About our approach >

Leon Hwang, MD

Hear about our cancer care from our chief of medical oncology Leon Hwang, MD.


300,000+
Cancer related screening per year

21
Oncologists employed

65+
Radiologists employed

55+
Oncology nurses employed

30+
Medical centers in the area

800+
Patients who attend our annual Cancer Survivor Day

1500+
providers to support you through your care journey. Learn more

Better prevention

The best defense against cancer is a healthy lifestyle and, we believe, having a great partner in health – Kaiser Permanente.

  • Doctors focused on your total health to help keep you well and fit as you can be.
  • Classes to improve your health and well-being.
  • Online programs to help you beat stress, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat healthy.
  • Online health assessment to let you know the state of your health, your risks for illness, and more.
  • Physicians make sure their patients are current with all vaccines and screenings, from infants to seniors.
  • Adolescents are encouraged to get the HPV vaccine, a cancer preventing vaccine.

Better detection

Screening early is key to catching cancer, and other diseases and illnesses, at a state where treatments are less invasive and cure rates are higher.

#1

  • #1 in the Mid-Atlantic and #2 in the Nation for Breast Cancer Screening amongst both Commercial and Medicare plans (as of 2018)1
  • #1 in the Mid-Atlantic and #3 in the Nation for Colorectal Cancer Screening (Commercial plans); #1 in the Nation amongst Medicare plans (4 years in a row) 1
  • #1 in the Mid-Atlantic and #3 in the Nation for Cervical Cancer Screening amongst Commercial plans1
  • #1 in the Mid-Atlantic and #2 in the Nation for Immunizations for Adolescents – Human Papillomavirus amongst Commercial plans1
Chart Of Cancer Screening Rates - Private/Commercial Health Plans
Chart Of Cancer Screening Rates - Private/Commercial Health Plans

When it comes to detecting breast cancer, you’ll be in good hands with Kaiser Permanente. We use the latest technology, including 2D mammograms (and 3D mammograms for those with dense breast tissue), breast ultrasounds, and breast MRIs to detect breast cancer as thoroughly and quickly as possible.

Should you ever feel or see something unusual, you can walk into one of our medical centers from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and get a mammogram. Your results can be ready in 30 to 60 minutes. If you require a biopsy, one can often be scheduled for that same day.

Better treatments

Our cancer care treatment is personalized, and you and your family are important and active participants in all decisions from treatments to surgeries to mental and emotional support. No matter what type of cancer you have or at what stage, our team of skilled physicians are here to guide you through your many decisions and the options that are available to you. Why is treatment at Kaiser Permanente better?

Louis Oliver

Meet Louis Oliver, a throat cancer survivor, and hear how he approached his cancer treatment.

Your cancer care treatment team

Like people, no two cancers are exactly alike. With Kaiser Permanente, you get a team of oncologists, radiologists, surgeons, pharmacists, and more, to help you and your family determine the most appropriate treatment for your cancer. Each person brings knowledge to decisions based on deep evaluation of medical evidence, discussion between specialists who have different points of view, and exploration into any new breakthrough treatment options. Best of all, they continuously work closely together, so as your treatment and condition changes throughout the process, they all know and understand your progress and next steps.

One way that our physicians leverage each other’s knowledge is through our Cancer Conference, which is comprised of specialists from the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. This group meets regularly to review cases submitted by physicians looking for input about the diagnosis, treatment, or overall approach to a specific patient problem.

Molly Young

Meet Molly Young, who relied on her team at Kaiser Permanente after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis.

Specialized breast and prostate cancer programs

For each person diagnosed with breast or prostate cancer, we pull together a multidisciplinary team of the doctors and other caregivers, which includes a geneticist for breast cancer patients, who will help development your treatment plan. They review everything – your blood work, imaging, lab results, medical history, the physician notes, and more – then discuss a plan of action, which may include a recommendation for other family members to be tested. One of our cancer clinic coordinators arranges for you to meet with each specialist on the same day at the same place. In one day, your treatment plan can be set in motion. There are no multiple appointments to make over a span of several weeks. And all of your doctors are on board from the start to implement your plan.

Chemotherapy

Even within chemotherapy, new drugs, new regimens, and new combinations are always being developed. At Kaiser Permanente, you will get the treatment that is proven to be the most appropriate for your cancer, not one based on cost, what medications are in stock, or what’s popular at the moment. (You may be surprised to know that many non-Kaiser Permanente oncologists’ pay is driven by how much, and what type of, chemotherapy they prescribe.) If infusion chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan, you’ll be cared for in beautiful, comfortable, and relaxing infusion centers staffed by nurses who provide you with personal attention. You can trust that the centers are filled with cutting-edge, computer-monitored equipment that aids in accuracy of drug prescribing, mixing and dispensing. You doctors evaluate alternatives, too, and prescribe oral- and immune-based treatments, radiation, surgery, or other options, when traditional intravenous chemo-infusion is not the best option for you.

Advanced treatments

No matter the treatment plan – aggressive or conservative, major surgery or minimally invasive, traditional or alternative approaches – every covered service can be considered for your care. Within our own advanced medical centers we provide chemotherapy, laparoscopic surgery, reconstructions, interventional radiology procedures such as microwave ablation, radiation seed placement, acupuncture, herbal therapy, excision and reconstructive surgeries. As an added convenience, we provide same-day service for X-ray fluoroscopy, ultrasounds, cat scans, and MRIs (Baltimore), which all help to precisely target therapies.

In addition, we use the new Savi Scout system, a zero-radiation and wire-free solution designed to make breast cancer surgery easier and more efficient for women and their doctors. Rather than inserting a wire into the breast, as is common in lumpectomies, a small reflector the size of a grain of rice is placed into the breast prior to the day of surgery. The Scout system uses its unique radar signal to detect the reflector and locate target tissue during a lumpectomy to ±1 mm of accuracy. This level of precision means more successful surgeries and better outcomes for women.

Our highly trained specialists also work in several premier partner hospitals where they can perform more comprehensive surgical procedures and even robotic surgery.

Timothy Kim, MD

Meet Timothy Kim, MD, one of our Urologic Oncologists, and hear about advances in the treatment for prostate cancer.

Clinical trials

Our pursuit of the  safest and most effective treatments can take us beyond traditional treatments, leading to clinical trials. Kaiser Permanente has met the stringent requirements to be a member of several research collaboratives, expanding the options for clinical trials in house at our medical centers. Many other trials are available for referral at well-known institutions such as the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and Johns Hopkins University. Although not suitable for all cancer patients, trials are always on the minds of our doctors, whether they’re our own or those conducted by others. While some doctors in the community prefer not to send patients to trials for fear of losing the income generated if patients are treated in their private offices, and some doctors at universities aggressively push clinical trials, Kaiser Permanente doctors want to match the patient with the right trial that they believe will result in the best outcome. At present, between 6 to eight percent of our diagnosed cancer patients are in clinical trials.

The Strata Precision Oncology Network is the leading network for investigators and biopharma to design and conduct potentially transformative precision cancer therapy studies. Kaiser Permanente is the only health system in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington, DC, participating in these therapy trials. Among other advantages, members of the network leverage Strata’s precision oncology platform to implement a comprehensive, streamlined program for routine tumor molecular profiling, efficient utilization of molecular data, and precision therapy trials.

Care outside of Kaiser Permanente

Sometimes, cancer care requires a type of unique specialist or surgeon who is not part of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. Or tests and treatments require extremely specialized facilities, equipment, or procedures that we do not provide. On those rare occasions, we coordinate your care with carefully chosen specialists and facilities that have a track record of success and are often designated as regional or national centers of excellence for their specialty.

Better outcomes

Cancer care is a team endeavor. That’s why we bring a 360-degree approach to your care and also provide an extensive support system that surrounds your treatment and provides the best outcomes. Your cure is our commitment. No matter what your journey, our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other professionals work hand in hand from the moment you’re diagnosed and throughout your treatments.

For patients with complex conditions, including cancer, we provide highly personal, intensive 1:1 outreach to engage compromised patients in their care. To help them get to their appointments and comply with their prescribed treatments and medications, we seek to eliminate obstacles that can impact a patient’s care such as cost concerns, lack of mobility, and transportation, cultural, mental health, and other issues.

Heidi

Meet Heidi and hear about how quickly she was able to move through her successful breast cancer treatment.

Cancer Survivor Day

Every year, thousands of survivors – the newly diagnosed, the long-term survivors, and their families – all join our physicians at the Cancer Survivor Day to learn, to connect, and to celebrate life.

Commission On Cancer

Kaiser Permanente received a Three-Year Accreditation with Commendation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons.

  1. The sources for data contained in this publication are Private/Commercial and Medicare Quality Compass® 2018 and are used with the permission of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Quality Compass 2018 include certain CAHPS data. Any data display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion based on these data is solely that of the authors, and NCQA specifically disclaims responsibility for any such display, analysis, interpretation, or conclusion. Quality Compass is a registered trademark of NCQA. CAHPS® is a registered trademark of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).