Start your treatment fast

For patients with certain abdominal cancers, you can meet with a surgeon as soon as the next business day to discuss a treatment plan.

Schedule: 843-985-PANC
a doctor in a white coat in an exam room chats with a patient while a nurse working at a computer station looks over and smiles

Next-day access to abdominal cancer care

Abdominal cancer doesn’t wait. Neither should you. That’s why Hollings is implementing a next-day access program for patients diagnosed with stomach cancer, small intestine cancer and hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) cancers, like liver cancer and pancreatic cancer.

There are no standard screening tests for these cancers. Symptoms may be minor at first or they may appear to be caused by other, more common conditions. Because of this, these cancers are often diagnosed after they have spread beyond the original site – making quick medical action all the more important.

How to get next-day access to an abdominal cancer surgeon

a smiling woman talks with an abdominal cancer surgeonUnder our Next-Day Access program, people with a diagnosis of non-metastatic liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, bile duct cancer, gallbladder cancer, stomach cancer or small intestine cancer can call 843-985-PANC (7262).

A nurse coordinator will review your information to ensure that your case is appropriate for the next-day program and schedule an appointment. Most patients can be seen the next business day.

Next-Day Access Scheduling

If you have received a diagnosis of non-metastatic stomach cancer, small intestine cancer, liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, or bile duct cancer, contact our nurse coordinator 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays) to schedule a next-day appointment.

What to expect at your appointment

At your initial appointment, you’ll be seen by an advanced practice provider who will perform an initial physical exam and discuss your medical history. You will also meet with a board-certified surgeon who specializes in treating these cancers. The surgeon will answer any questions that you have and outline a plan of action.

Our mission is to begin treatment as soon as possible. A follow-up appointment will be set within about a week of your first appointment. In between these appointments, our physicians will be reviewing your case at the Gastrointestinal Cancer Tumor Board, a group that includes medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and members of the Clinical Trials Office. Together, these specialists pool their expertise to ensure that you have a care plan tailored to your needs and the option to participate in clinical trials, when appropriate.

What cancers are included in the Next-Day Access program?

The Next-Day Access program includes stomach (gastric) cancer, small intestine (small bowel) cancer and hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) cancers. HPB cancers include liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, gallbladder cancer, bile duct cancer, retroperitoneal sarcomas and rare tumors like neuroendocrine tumors and gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is relatively rare in the U.S. Risk factors include smoking, a family cancer syndrome, obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Early signs of stomach cancer can include indigestion, bloating, nausea or heartburn. Signs of more advanced stomach cancer can include stomach pain, dark red stool from bleeding, unexplained weight loss, difficulty with swallowing or jaundice (when the whites of your eyes and skin turn yellowish).

Small Intestine Cancer

The small intestine is divided into three parts – the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. Cancer can start in any of these areas, but most commonly starts in the duodenum, the part that connects to your stomach. Overall, though, small intestine cancer is rare. Symptoms can include pain in the abdomen, dark red stool from bleeding, unexplained weight loss or nausea.

Liver Cancer and Bile Duct Cancer (cholangiocarcinoma)

Liver cancer is uncommon in the U.S., although worldwide it is the third most common cause of cancer death. Risk factors include chronic infections with either Hepatitis B virus or Hepatitis C virus, cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and heavy alcohol use.

Bile duct cancer is rare. Risk factors include several conditions that cause chronic inflammation, such as primary sclerosing cholangitis or chronic ulcerative colitis. Other risk factors include cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Symptoms of these cancers can include jaundice (when your skin and the whites of your eyes turn yellowish), unexplained weight loss, a lump or full feeling on the right side of the abdomen under the ribs, pain on the right side of the belly or by the right shoulder, light-colored stool or itchy skin.

Gallbladder Cancer

Gallbladder cancer is rare. One of the biggest risk factors for developing gallbladder cancer is gallstones. However, most people with gallstones do not go on to develop cancer. Symptoms can include belly pain, lumps in the belly, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), nausea and vomiting.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the U.S. Risk factors include smoking, obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic pancreatitis and certain inherited family cancer syndromes. Symptoms can include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), fatigue, oily stools, unexplained weight loss, pain in the belly or back and blood clots.