You have been referred to a Radiation Oncologist for radiation treatment. We wish to emphasize that we are here for only one reason – to serve you and your family. To best accomplish this we use the team approach comprised of the following board certified professionals:
- The radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in cancer treatment. He or she has completed a 4-year medical degree plus a 4-year residency in radiation oncology. The radiation oncologist consults with your primary care physician to prescribe an individualized radiation treatment plan.
- Based on the radiation oncologist’s prescription, the medical dosimetrist calculates the dose for each treatment and plans how to deliver the dose to the area where the cancer is located. The medical dosimetrist’s role is to design treatments that effectively target cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. Medical dosimetrists are educated in physics, anatomy and radiobiology. They may be certified by the Medical Dosimetry Certification Board.
- The radiation therapist administers radiation treatments to the patient. He or she prepares the patient for each treatment, applies the radiation, records and verifies each treatment and monitors the patient during treatment. Radiation therapists complete 2-year or 4-year professional educational programs focusing on physics, radiation safety, anatomy and patient care. They are certified by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.
- The oncology nurse completes the radiation treatment team. They educate cancer patients and their families, monitor patients for signs and symptoms related to radiation therapy and perform nutrition analyses. Oncology nurses are registered nurses with specialized experience in caring for cancer patients.
- In addition to verifying the dose calculations, the medical physicist checks that the equipment used to deliver the treatments is calibrated correctly and working properly. He or she has a master’s or doctorate degree in medical physics.
- The medical family therapist specializes in understanding how medical diagnosis/prognosis/treatment may affect the patient and/or family emotionally and socially. The therapist is available for personal and/or family counseling and for assistance in locating community resources. The medical family therapist has a master’s or doctorate degree in family therapy/social work/counseling. They may be licensed through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy or other licensing organization.
An important note: We welcome family members and friends here at the Center. They play a very important part in supporting you through your treatment course. The following guidelines will help you and your family to assume an active role in your care:
- Please read carefully any information given to you and keep it for future reference.
- Ask Questions. This is very important. Radiation therapy is frequently a feared and misunderstood method of treatment.
- After a pre-treatment evaluation has been completed, we will arrange a convenient daily treatment for you. Throughout your course of treatments you will visit with your radiation oncologist at least once per week.