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Radiation therapy: Zeroing in on cancer part II

Written by Community Health Network on 2/14/2014 11:00:00 AM

This is the second blog (view part one here) in a three-part interview series with Dr. Chandrika Patel, radiation oncologist. She is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology and a MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community Regional Cancer Center - East.

Is radiation therapy given alone or in combination with chemotherapy or immunotherapy?

At Community Cancer Centers you have a cancer team that includes a medical oncologist, surgeon, radiation oncologist and nursing support team. We identify your cancer type and stage and develop a personalized treatment plan for you. Combination therapy is not unusual. In addition to radiation therapy, chemotherapy attacks the cancer cells directly. Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, targets the body’s immune system to fight the disease.

How are patients supported throughout and post- treatment?

Survivorship is a very important part of the patient experience at Community Cancer Center.  For example, we have breast health navigators who are matched with every breast cancer patient and help guide and support that patient through their journey. The health navigator is there to help that patient from the time of a positive biopsy through the course of treatment which may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy or a combination of such. Our health navigator holds their hand along the way and makes sure all of their questions and concerns are addressed.

I recall having a female patient who was an avid biker. After breast cancer treatment, she was able to go back to riding 30-40 miles per day. It’s so rewarding to help our patients resume living life. Then there was also an individual who was treated and went back to compete in national pool tournaments. There is life after cancer treatment and we want to help our patients get there. 

Has the affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Network™ impacted radiation oncology services at Community Regional Cancer Centers?
From a Community Health Network perspective, we have incorporated some of MD Anderson Cancer Network’s techniques into our patient’s treatment plans. It’s been very helpful to review their methods and have access to their specific cancer specialists with regards to more complicated or rare cancer cases. In those situations, we review treatments methods that they used and discuss our cases with them. For the patient, we are able to provide the expertise of world renowned cancer experts right here in Indiana.

Learn more about the MD Anderson affiliation
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Radiation therapy: Zeroing in on cancer

Written by Community Health Network on 2/8/2014 10:30:00 AM

This is the first blog in a three-part interview series with Dr. Chandrika Patel, radiation oncologist. She is board certified in radiation oncology by the American Board of Radiology and a MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community Regional Cancer Center - East.

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is treatment where beams of high-energy rays are used to target and destroy cancer cells. Radiation oncologists specialize in treating cancer patients with it. Radiation therapy is not like chemotherapy. Radiation treats just the tumor. Chemo uses drugs to treat the whole body.

Because of the precision and versatility with which these treatments are delivered, over 66 percent of cancer patients will have some form of radiotherapy as part of their treatment. It may be given at different times in cancer treatment, dependent upon the cancer type. Sometimes it is used to shrink a tumor, or used after a surgery to kill areas the surgery missed.

Are there different types of radiation therapy?

Depending on the type of cancer you have, you may be treated with high-dose rate (HDR) radiotherapy. This treatment uses higher amounts of radiation than in typical radiation therapy. The radiation is directed precisely at the tumor to avoid damaging healthy tissue, with the advantage that it may kill more cancer cells in fewer treatments.

In contrast, low dose rate radiation brachytherapy, is a different way to deliver radiation. Low dose radiation is commonly used for prostate cancer treatments, and involves implanting a radioactive “seed” in the body permanently to damage the cancer cells. This allows application of a higher dose of radiation for a shorter period of time to a small area. continue reading ...


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To make an appointment with an MD Anderson Cancer Network® certified physician at Community, call 800-777-7775 today!



Meet our nurse navigators

When it comes to your fight against cancer, they've got your back. Our nurse navigators act as a guide, resource, advocate and educator for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families. Learn more here.


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