You are in good hands.
Your cancer care team will work closely with you to plan every detail of your treatment. They’ll also answer any questions you have. Even if you think your question is embarrassing or silly, ask it. Every question is a good one when it comes to something as important as your cancer treatment. The Santa Cruz Radiation Oncology Radiation Treatment Cancer Care Team includes a number of highly trained and experienced professionals, including:
- A Radiation Oncologist
- A Dosimetrist
- A Nurse (RN or LPN)
- A Radiation Physicist
- A Radiation Therapist
We know it is not easy trusting your care and treatment to people you have never met before. But with every appointment, every question answered, and every decision made, you will come to realize you could not be in better hands than your cancer care team.
Your Radiation Oncologist is responsible for all aspects of your radiation care
A Radiation Oncologist is a doctor who specializes in the use of radiation to treat cancer. At Santa Cruz Radiation Oncology, our Radiation Oncologists have extensive experience with your type of cancer and the most advanced radiation treatment systems available to treat it.
Radiation Oncology is constantly progressing. You may have options today that were not available just a decade ago. Your Radiation Oncologist will help you understand which treatments are most appropriate for your type of cancer, its size, location and stage. Whether you have surgery or chemotherapy as part of your treatment will also influence which radiation option you ultimately choose.
Your Radiation Oncologist will work with you and the rest of your team to determine your treatment plan, including the type of radiation treatment you will undergo, the dosage amounts, the number of treatment sessions, scheduling, and other related details.
Your Radiation Therapist will administer your treatment
Your Radiation Therapist is a highly trained professional responsible for delivering your treatment according to your Radiation Oncologist’s instructions. When you come in for a session, he or she will make sure you are positioned correctly and will operate the system delivering the radiation. After your treatment session is over, the radiation therapist is responsible for recording it and making sure any new data, such as a CT scan, is correctly saved.
A Dosimetrist will help determine how much radiation you receive
Determining how much radiation a patient receives during treatment is a true balancing act. The goal is to target the tumor site with as much radiation as possible without damaging surrounding healthy tissue — thereby minimizing the risk of side effects. Once your Radiation Oncologist has determined the dose of radiation to be delivered to your tumor, the Dosimetrist will design a treatment plan using sophisticated software to determine the number of beams and angles to achieve this dose. When designing this treatment plan, your Dosimetrist will take into consideration critical structures in the area of the tumor.
Your Radiation Physicist will keep your radiation therapy system in perfect working order
Your Physicist will work directly with your Radiation Oncologist to oversee and review the work of the Dosimetrist and ensure that complex treatment plans are properly tailored for your specific needs.
Like any type of sophisticated, high-tech equipment, radiation therapy systems need continuous attention. Your Radiation Physicist is responsible for developing quality control programs to make sure the device used for your radiation therapy is calibrated to deliver exactly the right amount of radiation at every visit. They will also run safety tests on the equipment on a regular basis and review all calculations during your course of treatment.
Your Nurse will coordinate your cancer care
Before, during and after your treatment, your Santa Cruz Radiation Oncology Nurse will be your go-to person. He or she will schedule your sessions and provide you with treatment information, including how to prepare for sessions and what to expect. Your Nurse is also there to answer questions, help you manage any side effects, and connect you with any support services you may need.
An extended team will support you and your family
Santa Cruz Radiation Oncology also has Financial Counselors on staff to help you. Our Financial Counselors can answer questions about co-payments and health insurance coverage, including Medicare and Medicaid. The entire cancer care team is here to provide support for issues that affect you and your family during cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.