Meeting the Community’s Needs

New practice location is “one-stop shop” for cancer care.

Cancer Specialists of North Florida (CSNF) has provided quality cancer care to the region’s residents for more than 30 years. Last August, in response to an identified need, the practice expanded its network of cancer centers to include a new location in Palm Coast.

Dr. Marc A. Warmuth and Dr. Sameer M. Baig standing inside office

Dr. Marc A. Warmuth and Dr. Sameer M. Baig

“We realized that Palm Coast was an underserved area from an oncology standpoint and patients were driving to our centers in St. Augustine for cancer care,” observes Marc A. Warmuth, MD, a board-certified hematologist/oncologist with CSNF. “We opened the Palm Coast center to serve these patients in their own community.”

The primary goal of Dr. Warmuth and his colleague in Palm Coast, Sameer M. Baig, MD, is to conquer cancer by delivering an integrated approach to care. CSNF Palm Coast includes a large infusion suite where chemotherapy medications, aimed at destroying cancer cells, and other complementary therapies are administered. In addition, it houses a fully equipped laboratory and full-service pharmacy.

“We provide chemotherapy for all types of cancer,” Dr. Warmuth details. “We also deliver immunotherapy, a newer type of treatment that enhances the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Additionally, we offer supportive care treatments such as growth factors to help the patient’s blood combat infection.”

“We deliver other medications in our infusion suite as well, including the biologic medicines that we use in hematology to treat blood disorders,” Dr. Baig elaborates. “We also coadminister some of the rheumatology and neurology medications, such as the specialized drugs for multiple sclerosis that must be given under a physician’s supervision.”

CSNF Palm Coast treats many types of blood disorders including those that are non-cancerous, such as iron deficiency anemia.

“We see quite a few patients who have failed oral iron therapy for their anemia and require intravenous iron,” Dr. Baig informs. “IV iron must be delivered in a controlled setting with a physician present.

“Treatment of benign blood disorders is one of the unmet needs in our Palm Coast community that is being addressed by our practice.”

Steady Growth

Since opening in August 2020, the Palm Coast center has steadily grown. Dr. Baig and Dr. Warmuth typically examine between 60 and 100 patients per week, and those figures continue to climb. Additional patients visit the center weekly for routine lab work, nursing assessments and treatments such as chemotherapy. Most weeks, the center operates at full capacity.

“One thing our patients really like about our practice is that every time they visit, they always see the physician; they always see me,” reveals Dr. Baig. “Oftentimes, patients must see different providers, so seeing the same physician is a privilege. Our patients appreciate being able to see the physician at every office visit.”

Patients at Cancer Specialists of North Florida also appreciate that the services offered at the Palm Coast location are convenient and geared toward their needs. In addition to medical care, the practice provides personalized nutrition and counseling services (provided respectively by registered dietitians and licensed clinical social workers) and financial assistance. Patients can complete all of their lab work at the in-house laboratory and fill their regular prescriptions as well as their cancer medications at the pharmacy.

“We opened the Palm Coast center to serve these patients in their own community.” – Dr. Warmuth

“One of our goals is to make things easy for our patients,” Dr. Warmuth asserts. “At our practice, patients can come in and get all the treatment they need. They don’t have to visit 10 different doctors and go to multiple labs and pharmacies to receive their care. We incorporate everything into a sort of one-stop shop.”

Supporting CSNF Palm Coast’s convenient, personalized services is a patient-friendly and centered team. Staff members are committed to the goals of the practice and its treating oncologists.

“Our staff is fantastic,” Dr. Baig raves. “Having terrific people in place who are doing their jobs really well instills confidence in our patients. They can see that we know what we are doing and are on top of our game, and that eases their mind.”

The Chemotherapy Option

CSNF Palm Coast cares for patients with all types of cancer, but the cancers the physicians most often treat, according to Dr. Baig, are breast, colon and lung cancer. Due to the intense Florida sun, they also treat many cases of melanoma skin cancer.

“These tend to be the most common cancers, and they are also the cancers for which there are fairly good screening protocols,” Dr. Baig explains. “So, it is natural that they are the cancers that are most often detected and presented by patients for treatment.”

Surgery to remove the cancerous tumors is typically the first treatment option for breast, colon and lung cancer, but chemotherapy is also an option in some cases, especially in cases of more advanced cancer. Improved technology has helped oncologists identify which patients will benefit most from chemotherapy.

“Having terrific people in place who are doing their jobs really well instills confidence in our patients.” – Dr. Baig

“We can now perform molecular tests on cancer cells to help us target the patient’s treatment,” Dr. Warmuth describes. “These tests, which just became available in the last few years, have altered our approach to cancer treatment significantly.”

“The sophisticated technology aids in identifying those cancers that will be ‘good actors’ and those that will be ‘bad actors,’” Dr. Baig adds. “Patients with cancers that are good actors will benefit from chemotherapy.

“Sometimes, however, people don’t seek treatment until their cancer is considerably advanced and has spread to other areas of the body. In those cases, systemic chemotherapy is the only option.

“The good news is that cancers caught in their early stages are often treatable and, in some cases, curable.”

©FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo courtesy of Cancer Specialists of North Florida. js

 

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    • Cancer Specialists of North Florida

      Their goal is to provide the best possible care for each and every one of their patients. They deliver an integrated approach to conquering cancer and blood-related disorders. Their board-certified physicians and highly trained staff are commi... Read More

    • Marc. A. Warmuth, MD

      Marc. A. Warmuth, MD, is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in hematology and medical oncology. He earned his undergraduate degree from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX, and his medical degree from Univ... Read More

    • Sameer M. Baig, MD

      Sameer M. Baig, MD, is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from Gulf Medical University in the United Arab Emirates and a Doctor of Medicine degr... Read More