The University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of the Keck School of Medicine and is designated by the National Cancer Institute as one of the nation’s 40 comprehensive cancer centers. Located in Los Angeles, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center serves as a regional and national resource for cancer treatment, research, prevention, and education. The staff at the cancer center includes approximately 200 basic and population scientists, physicians from the faculty of the USC Keck School of Medicine, and members of several USC professional schools/departments and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center provides patient care through inpatient and outpatient services at several affiliated hospitals (USC Norris Cancer Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC University Hospital, and Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center) and outpatient clinics. Taline Khoukaz, NP, MSN, ACNP-C, works in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. She answered our questions about colorectal cancer care and working as part of a multidisciplinary team.
Taline Khoukaz (TK): At USC Norris Comprehensive Oncology Department, we have 4 GI oncologists and 3 nurse practitioners. The multidisciplinary group consists of specialized colorectal surgeons, hepatobiliary surgeons, radiation oncologists, a patient advocate, an ostomy nurse, dietitians, and genetic counselors. Working as a team, we provide effective and seamless outcomes for our patients. In addition, our delegated social worker provides emotional support for patients and their family members and assists in making appropriate referrals to home services.
TK: The genetic counselor is an integral part of our team, seeing all patients who may have any kind of genetic predisposition based on their age, pathology, or family history of cancer. She works closely with us to develop screening guidelines for patients with familial adenomatous or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.