The Radiation Oncology Department has provided the only radiation therapy service in Nevada and Sierra counties since the Cancer Center’s opening. A team of specialists work to make your treatment effective and comfortable. State-of-the-art equipment and treatment techniques are offered here and are much the same as those used at major radiation centers in greater Sacramento and San Francisco.
To properly treat each patient’s unique needs, our team designs a custom treatment plan per patient. Treatments first are simulated using a specially designed scanner that produces extremely high quality images of the body’s internal organs and tissues. The equipment is used to make 3-dimensional models of each patient, including precise details about involved organs and tissues. This allows our radiation oncologist, physicist and dosimetrist to create an optimum treatment plan for each patient.
The goal is to direct the prescribed radiation to the affected area, while avoiding unnecessary radiation exposure to surrounding tissues. Once radiation fields have been designed, a special computer calculates radiation doses and all of the factors required to deliver effective treatment.
A Primus Linear Accelerator, made by Siemens, is used to deliver the actual radiation. A course of treatment may last from two to as many as eight weeks. Treatment is “fractionated” so that the total prescription is given in small doses each day, Mondays through Fridays. Each patient is seen by a doctor at least once a week – more often if requested or needed. We check each patient’s treatment setups weekly to maintain quality control.
When the course of treatment is ended, each patient is given an appointment to return for a follow-up visit, usually in a month. At any time during preparation or treatment, patients are encouraged to ask questions and express any concerns they may have. Our staff strives to provide radiation treatment and patient care second to none.
For those who appreciate technical details, our equipment has high and low energy x-rays, and offers a range of electron energies. With our linear accelerator we provide many treatment choices, including the technique known as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy – IMRT.
Patients are referred for Radiation Therapy by their primary care physician. If you would like more information about what our Radiation Oncology department can do for you, please call (530) 274-6600.