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Radiation Oncology

Advanced Cancer care close to home.

The Robert J. Moonan Department of Radiation Oncology is dedicated and committed to the delivery of excellent care to each patient.

IMRT is the most sophisticated external beam radiation treatment available. Radiation is delivered to the tumor, while protecting the surrounding normal tissue.
  

Despina Terris, MD
 Medical Director
Radiation Oncology

Recently, the Radiation Oncology Department has added Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) Cone Beam Imaging to our existing Linear Accelerator equipment. This new state-of-the-art technology allows customization of the treatment fields to avoid critical structures during treatment. This translates into fewer side effects for patients and allows the oncologist to deliver higher doses of radiation to the tumor. This increases the accuracy and efficiency while delivering daily radiation treatment safely.

Accreditations

This new technology along with our nationally recognized Customer Service Excellence makes St. Francis Medical Center the first choice for Cancer Treatment and Care.

The Department is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology. This accreditation is requested on a voluntary basis and involves a peer review process of the practice of Radiation Oncology. Subjected to a rigorous review of patient care standards, the Radiation Oncology Department has always received its accreditation without qualification and with the highest accolades, indicating that it provides high quality radiation oncology care.

Treatment

Preparing a treatment plan for each radiation patient is an extremely complex process, and begins with a consultation with the radiation oncologist.  Afterwards, she recommends the appropriate course of treatment. If treatment is recommended, the following steps are taken:

Imaging: All appropriate imaging studies are obtained depending upon the area(s) to be treated. These may include plain films, bone scans, CT scans, or MRIs, and  are reviewed by the treating physician.

Simulation: The patient is first placed in the proper position and a technician, using CT scans, marks the skin where the radiation will be delivered.

Treatment Planning: Utilizing the CT simulation, the physicists and physicians consult together to review the treatment goals, outline normal and tumor tissue, and to determine the best course of the radiation beams.  The goal is to kill the tumor, while minimizing damage to any surrounding normal cells and tissue.  Computerized treatment plans and dose calculations are reviewed prior to initiation of treatment.

Verification: X-rays of the treated area are compared with simulation x-rays or digitally reconstructed x-rays (DRR) to ensure the treatment can be repeated daily.

Treatment Delivery: After the physician approves verification films, treatment can start. Treatment times vary, but are typically given 5 days a week, Monday – Friday, between 8 AM and 4 PM with scheduled appointment times.

Physician Visits: Patients are seen at least once a week by the physician and nurse to assess the general medical condition, to review the patient’s response to the treatment, and to evaluate the side effects and blood counts.
 
Quality Assurance: Since radiation cannot be seen, heard, or touched, our Quality Assurance protocol is performed weekly.  Films of all treated areas are reviewed, as well as the patient’s position and a review of prescription and dose delivery is also completed.

Hours of Operation

Services are available Mon-Fri from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

How to Contact

For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call 609-599-5179.

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