Blood oncology and hematology care in Kansas City

Important information

CDC guidance now recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised patients receive an additional (third) dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). If you have undergone anti-cancer therapy in the past year, you are within 1 year of stem cell transplantation or are receiving medications that suppress your immune system, you are encouraged to obtain a third COVID-19 vaccination shot. If you received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccination, please consult your doctor regarding next steps. Find vaccination locations here.

If you are within 100 days of a stem cell transplantation, we do not recommend that you receive a COVID-19 vaccination until you are cleared by your care team to do so. If you are currently on a clinical research trial, please contact your clinical research team for more guidance. Please contact your care coordinator if you have additional questions about receiving an additional COVID-19 vaccine shot.

At HCA Midwest Health, our cancer centers partner with the Sarah Cannon Transplant & Cellular Therapy Network to advance the science and care of patients with blood cancer. As a result, we care for more blood cancer patients than any other cancer center in the Kansas City metro area.

Through our health network's comprehensive oncology program, we offer personalized cancer treatment plans and use the latest therapies to care for patients with blood cancer.

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A second opinion can help you make an informed decision about your medical care. Getting a second opinion from an oncology expert at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health is easy, convenient, secure and can all be done remotely.

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Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute - HCA Midwest Health

World-class hematology and oncology care

Patients with a blood cancer diagnosis in our surrounding communities have access to complex hematology services on an inpatient and outpatient basis when they choose the blood cancer center at Research Medical Center. HCA Midwest Health offers a variety of advantages in blood cancer care:

  • Access to the latest treatment advances—We bring innovative care options, including community-based clinical trials and immunotherapies, close to home.
  • A dedicated patient navigator—A dedicated oncology trained nurse navigator walks patients through every step of their cancer journey.
  • A multidisciplinary care team—Our team works together through every stage of the cancer journey to make sure our patients receive high-quality care and access to valuable support resources.
  • Multidisciplinary patient case conferences—Physicians across the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network discuss cases and develop optimal patient treatment plans.
  • Oncology Alert patient care program—The only program of its kind in the Kansas City region, Oncology Alert focuses on quickly identifying and treating immunocompromised patients with cancer arriving in any HCA Midwest cancer clinic or emergency room (ER). This program provides special training to ER and clinic staff to identify and address the unique needs of chemotherapy patients.
  • Part of the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network—Sarah Cannon is one of the largest providers of blood cancer care across the U.S. and United Kingdom. We perform blood and marrow transplants, also called bone marrow transplants or stem cell transplants.
  • Staffed with oncology nurses—All of our registered nurses are chemotherapy certified, and a nurse manager or charge nurse rounds on patients daily to ensure excellent care.
  • Support services for patients and caregivers—Our cancer wellness program includes nutrition, psycho-social, rehabilitation and survivorship support.
  • We care for more blood cancer patients—In the Kansas City metro area, more patients choose the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Network than any other cancer center.

What is blood cancer?

Many blood cancers begin in your bone marrow, where your blood is produced. Your bone marrow contains stem cells that develop into:

  • Red blood cells: Deliver oxygen to body tissue through the circulatory system
  • White blood cells: Part of the immune system that helps the body fights infections and diseases
  • Platelets: Colorless cells that prevent bleeding, help the blood clot and repair damaged blood vessels

Blood cancer causes the standard development process of these cells to be disrupted. Cancer affects the creation and function of these cells and keeps your blood from fighting infection or preventing severe bleeding.

Blood cancer symptoms

Determining if you have blood cancer can only be diagnosed by a medical professional; however, these are some of the common symptoms:

  • Coughing or chest pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Frequent infections
  • Itchy skin or rash
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Night sweats
  • Persistent weakness and fatigue
  • Shortness of breath

Types of blood cancers and disorders we treat

Our experienced oncologists, hematologists and medical team treat various conditions, including:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML): Affects the development of white blood cells and causes fatigue, bruising and chronic infections
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): Slow progressing condition usually affecting older adults. It causes fatigue and bruising
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia: Slow-progressing condition generally affecting older adults. It is caused by a mutation in the chromosome and causes bleeding and fatigue
  • Hodgkin lymphoma: Affects the lymphatic part of the immune system and limits the body's ability to fight infection
  • Lymphocytic leukemia (ALL): Occurs usually in older adults, affecting the white blood cells and lymph nodes. It causes swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and bruising
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS): Occurs when the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy cells
  • Multiple myeloma: Affects plasma cells (a type of white blood cell), causing possible damage to the immune system, bones and kidneys
    What is myeloma?
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL): Occurs when too many lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) are produced

Transplant and cellular therapy treatment

A blood and marrow transplant (BMT), also known as stem cell transplants or bone marrow transplants may be recommended to treat patients with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

There are different types of stem cell transplants. All types involve hematopoietic stem cells, a type of cell that can grow into healthy blood cells. Sarah Cannon at HCA Midwest Health offers autologous transplants.

Sarah Cannon Transplant & Cellular Therapy at Research Medical Center is a FACT accredited program for adult autologous transplant through the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT).

FACT accreditation places us in the highest level of transplant programs and assures our services meet the most rigorous standards of blood and marrow transplant.  

Overview of Transplant & Cellular Therapies for Patients Needing a Blood and Marrow Transplant

Download Our Transplant and Cellular Therapies Patient Handbook

En español: Un Resumen General De Terapias De Trasplante Y Terapias Celulares

How an autologous transplant works

An autologous transplant is one where the patient serves as his or her own donor. During the process:

  1. The blood cancer team collects stem cells from you through a process called apheresis. During this process, your blood is circulated through a machine where stem cells are collected. The remaining blood is safely returned to your body. The stem cells are sent to a laboratory where they are tested and frozen.
  2. You will likely undergo chemotherapy to treat cancer.
  3. Your experienced oncologist/hematologist performs the stem cell infusion.
  4. You will be under close supervision for a few weeks. Your blood counts will be monitored and you will be protected against infection.

Stem cell infusion process

A stem cell infusion looks similar to a blood transfusion. During the procedure, stem cells are put into the blood through an IV. As the stem cells enter the bloodstream, they travel into the bone marrow. In the bone marrow, the stem cells replicate and become healthy blood cells.

Our team of blood cancer specialists

The Sarah Cannon Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program within the Sarah Cannon Blood Cancer Center offers a comprehensive group of blood and marrow transplant professionals to guide you through the treatment process. Our team works together to ensure you receive high-quality cancer care. Your care team includes:

  • Primary oncologist
  • Hematologist transplant physician
  • Surgeon
  • Pathologist
  • Radiologist
  • Specialty physicians
  • Advanced practice providers
  • Transplant nurse coordinator
  • Transplant nurses
  • Support staff

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

HCA Midwest Health is part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (816) 448-7737 or visit askSARAHnow.