For patients facing a cancer diagnosis, it can be a great comfort to know there are doctors who have devoted their careers to treating this disease. Locally, Shannon provides a broad spectrum of cancer care to patients.
Two medical oncologists/hematologists provide care and chemotherapy treatment at the Shannon Oncology Center. Dr. James Studt, MD, Shannon Clinic radiation oncologist, oversees radiation therapy at the Regional Cancer Treatment Center (RCTC). The center is located downtown, adjacent to Shannon's Oncology Center, in the Shannon Clinic Magdalen building.
What is radiation oncology?
Radiation oncology is the treatment of cancer with high-energy x-rays (radiation). Half of patients diagnosed with cancer receive some form of radiation therapy, which is often an alternative to surgery. Various treatments are offered at RCTC to target specific types of cancer, including breast, lung, head and neck, gynecologic, skin, lymphomas, prostate, colorectal, and metastatic diseases. Treatment options include:
Novalis Tx radiosurgery
One of the most advanced treatment options available, this technique shapes the cancer-fighting radiation beam around the tumor or lesion, ensuring the maximum dose of high-energy radiation is delivered while protecting the surrounding healthy tissue. The flexibility of this treatment option adapts to breathing and body movements so the radiation is delivered safely to its target.
Stereotactic radiation therapy (SRS/SRT) and Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
Stereotactic treatment may be used to treat neurological and lung cancers, and is a successful option for patients who are unable to have surgery. SRS targets tumors affecting the central nervous system. This treatment is applied in a single, high-dose session. SRT is delivered in up to five treatments. Both therapies deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor with minimal dosage to surrounding brain tissue. SBRT is used for areas outside the central nervous system.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
This treatment is often used to treat prostate cancers, and most men have very few side effects from this form of treatment. Image guided therapy utilizes complicated algorithms with an ExacTrac system to deliver radiation with sub-millimeter accuracy.
This treatment is a low-dose therapy option used primarily for the superficial treatment of skin cancers.
3-D treatment planning
Patients are placed in their treatment position while a treatment planning CT scan maps radiation therapy fields. This technique allows accurate treatment of cancers without damaging surrounding tissues.
Highly trained support staff
The technology available at the center is unique and advanced for its size. The center's highly trained support staff, including a chief therapist, medical physicist and dosimetrists, work together to determine the treatment plan for each patient. Another unique service patients receive is physician-provided care with one-on-one consults. Each patient is followed by Dr. Studt throughout the entirety of their treatment.
"It's important to offer these radiation therapy services here because patients are able to stay in town with their family and receive the same quality of care," Dr. Studt said. "For example, we have all the technology available locally for the external treatment of breast cancer. It is not necessary for the majority of patients to leave town to receive radiation treatment."
RCTC is the only center in West Texas accredited by the American College of Radiology. For more information, please call 325.653.2010.