The Radiation Oncology team at the OSUCCC – James believes that the best way to treat patients and manage disease successfully is to deliver the latest, most effective treatments available.
Because radiation oncology touches nearly all cancer specialties and subspecialties, each diagnosis and treatment plan is led by an OSUCCC – James expert within each particular cancer. That expert is also supported by a closely networked specialty group of doctors, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists, physician assistants, nurses and other professional support team members who work together to provide each patient with individualized, targeted and personalized treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a radiation oncology specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.
Radiation therapy treatment begins with an initial consultation that includes a physical examination to check your overall health, to look for signs of disease, and to discuss health habits, past illnesses and treatments. You will also receive additional information about your specific cancer, its current and previous (if any) locations in the body, and its subtype and stage. Your OSUCCC – James radiation oncologist may recommend additional tests, including blood tests or imaging studies.
Just as every person’s disease is different, so is each individual’s treatment plan. That’s why the OSUCCC – James Radiation Oncology multidisciplinary team of experts develops a targeted and personalized treatment plan based not only on your disease type, location and progression, but also on your specific biological makeup and genetic markers.
Radiation Therapy Planning
Radiation therapy directs high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and either shrink or stop tumor growth. Careful planning is necessary to ensure the radiation beams target only the cancer cells while leaving surrounding healthy tissues unharmed.
The OSUCCC – James Radiation Oncology team begins developing your personalized radiation treatment plan by determining the exact location of your cancer. Depending on the type of cancer you have, your OSUCCC – James radiology oncology specialists may take images of the tumor site using a CT (computed tomography) scan, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a PET (positron emission tomography) scan.
Throughout the imaging process, you will be fitted with a customized immobilization device designed to position your body properly during radiation treatment. A specially trained radiation oncology technician will also make a series of small temporary or permanent marks (sometimes called tattoos) on your skin. The marks on your skin, combined with the immobilization device, act as a kind of roadmap that the radiation oncology team will use to keep you in the correct position when radiation treatment begins and to return you to the same position in subsequent treatments.
When the radiation planning session is complete, your radiation oncologist, along with a medical dosimetrist and physicist, will develop an individualized plan that maximizes the dose of radiation delivered to the tumor and while minimizing the impact on the nearby sensitive, healthy tissues.
The week before your first radiation treatment, your OSUCCC - James radiation oncology team of experts will schedule a practice session called a “simulation.” Much like a dress rehearsal, you will return to the same position as you were during the planning session. Using X-rays or through examination, your radiation oncologist will confirm that your position is correct, that dosing calculations are accurate and that the planned treatment can be delivered by the Linear Accelerator.
During your treatments, the OSUCCC – James team of experts will not be in the room with you but will be able to see and hear you through cameras and microphones located throughout the room. Treatment may continue for a few weeks or several weeks depending on your specific type of cancer and your personalized treatment plan.
While you are receiving radiation therapy, you will see your OSUCCC - James radiation oncologist weekly to discuss questions you may have, to coordinate your care with other specialties and to treat any side effects that you may be experiencing. These visits are also an additional opportunity to discuss any non-urgent questions or concerns you may have.
At your last treatment, you will be scheduled for a follow-up assessment, and you may be asked to get additional testing before your next visit.