Abbott Northwestern Hospital
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We understand that everyone's cancer experience is unique. Our experts use the latest technology, innovative treatments and research to meet the needs of each patient and family.
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The Virginia Piper Cancer Institute's Radiation Oncology Center has been a leader in specialized services for more than a decade.
Photo tour of Radiation Oncology Center
The Virginia Piper Cancer Institute's Radiation Oncology Center is defined by its dedicated, passionate staff and highly experienced physician leadership. We merge superior technical capabilities with an expert staff.
The team participates in weekly treatment planning conferences to review recent cases. This helps improve the consistency and quality of care.
Advanced treatment capabilities
The Radiation Oncology Center embraces the use of cutting-edge treatment techniques by adopting new technology early and aggressively.
Consultations and treatment planning
Upon a referral from an oncologist, surgeon or primary care physician, a patient meets with one of our radiation oncologists and radiation oncology nurses.
At the consultation appointment, the following takes place:
After the consultation, treatment planning begins – the next step in evaluating your condition before undergoing radiation therapy. After radiation therapy is chosen as the way to treat a patient's cancer, treatment planning begins.
Treatment planning means the radiation therapy team determines technique, type of therapy, dosage, frequency and duration of treatments. The key component to treatment planning is through a process called simulation – the design of the actual treatment technique, including patient positioning and immobilization devices.
The first step in simulation is to physically position the patient with the equipment as though they would be treated. The tumor region is located and the treatment area is marked.
Once the immobilization device is created, the patient will have a special treatment planning computed tomography (CT) scan and in some cases, special magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a positron emission tomography (PET) scan for further tumor localization. The treatment planning team then reviews all the information provided to design the best treatment plan.
The particular type of radiation therapy is determined and a treatment plan is developed to provide the safest and most effective treatment. The radiation oncologist, along with the patient's oncologist and primary care physician, outline the course of treatment for the patient.
The Radiation Oncology Center at the Virginia Piper Cancer Institute - Abbott Northwestern Hospital is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). To learn more about this accreditation, go to acr.org.
Source: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute; Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 28th edition
Reviewed by: Katie Schwarzkopf, manager, Radiation Oncology Program, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute
First Published: 02/17/2010
Last Reviewed: 03/05/2014