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One Size Does Not Fit All: Specialized Radiation Therapy for Cancer Patients

Precise, tailored treatment has been proven to be the most effective approach to combat cancer. Taking a deeper dive into a patient’s diagnosis, staging, genetic make-up and age are some of many important factors considered when selecting a treatment pathway. This is why Hoag believes one size does not fit all for cancer treatment.

“There are many treatment options available to cancer patients who seek care at a comprehensive cancer center,” says Kevin Lin, M.D., Hoag Radiation Oncologist. “We strive to work closely with community physicians, because cancer care, and more specifically, radiation therapy, requires a multidisciplinary approach that involves all of the providers caring for the patient. The treatments should also be precise and planned according to the patients needs.”

Hoag Radiation Oncology, located within the new Hoag Cancer Center Irvine at 16105 Sand Canyon Avenue, provides a variety of advanced radiation therapy options focused on administering accurate radiation therapy. The Radiation Oncology Program operates both external beam therapy and internal radiation therapy. External beam therapy is where radiation is delivered to the cancer site from a machine outside of the body. External beam therapy can utilize different machines depending on tumor type or location in the body. Internal beam radiation, also known as brachytherapy, is when radioactive material is placed into the body at the cancer site. This allows therapists to deliver higher doses of radiation directly to the cancer area, avoiding healthy tissue. The new state-of-the-art technology just installed at Hoag Cancer Center Irvine provides the latest advancements in dose shaping and precision treatment delivery.

What also differentiates Hoag is what happens prior to treatment. Each Hoag patient meets with a radiation oncology nurse and radiation oncologist for an in depth consultation, then recommendations and advanced treatment planning begin. Planning involves a computerized tomography (CT) simulation, where a patient is fitted for special positioning devices to be used during treatment, and a CT scan also taken to be utilized for treatment planning. In conjunction with the CT scan, Hoag’s uses highly sophisticated planning software that outlines the individualized information about a patient’s anatomy and disease to plan the best three-dimensional dose distribution for treatment. The goal is to provide targeted, effective treatment while avoiding healthy tissue.

All this takes a skilled, experienced team.

“Hoag’s Radiation Oncology team is comprised of some of the top professionals in the field,” continues Dr. Lin. “Hoag has built an impressive group of focused, yet very caring individuals all dedicated to cancer patients and their families.”

While some centers may offer only a radiation oncologist, nurse, dosimetrist and therapist, Hoag’s comprehensive team of radiation therapy experts consists of those core providers in addition to Medical Physicists, Nurse Navigators, Dieticians, Speech Language Pathologists, and Social workers – all specialty-trained in oncology. These ancillary services help guide the patients and support them as they go through their cancer journey. Going through cancer treatments can be difficult, and Hoag’s program is designed to deliver the best possible treatment and outcome for the patient’s cancer, while also addressing the patient’s needs as a whole.

Hoag’s Radiation Oncology Program also regularly participates in more than 12 tumor-specific case conferences where a multidisciplinary team of physicians and medical professionals come together to deliberate and discuss treatment plans, something that is not available at all hospitals. Hoag also works in close collaboration with community physicians, understanding the importance of working together for the best outcomes for the patient.

As the largest volume provider of radiation therapy in Orange County, Hoag Family Cancer Institute continues to push for its patients to receive specialized, tailored radiation therapy and cancer care.

For more information, call 888-506-0641.