Services we provide include:
External Radiation therapy (3-D and IMRT) for all types of adult cancers
Internal Radiation (Brachytherapy) for breast and gynecological cancers
Hamilton's radiation cancer care began in 1975; located in the basement of the hospital. At that time, radiation was managed by hospital radiologists. In 1988 Hamilton recruited their first board certified radiation oncologist, Dr William McKay. In 1989, the department expanded and relocated to the Burkett Building where it remains today.
Today Hamilton provides radiation therapy for all types of adult cancers and are accredited by the American College of Surgeons commission on Cancer.
You can reach Judd Radiation at 706-272-6060.
|IMRT - Linear Accelerator|
We have a five step approach to radiation cancer care.
Consultation is the first step of your treatment. During your consultation, the physician (Board Certified Radiation Oncologist) will perform a physical examination and review your radiology exams and medical history. Your physician will collaborate with other members of your health care team such as your surgeon, medical oncologist and family doctor to understand your disease. Involving you in the decision making, your physician will explain and recommend treatment options tailored to your specific needs. Your physician will answer any questions regarding goals and side effects of treatment.
Simulation is the next step of radiation therapy is to develop a treatment plan. To start this process, the doctor will obtain a CT scan, or a detailed X-ray image. You will be placed in a CT scanner and the therapist will place your body into treatment position. Special positioning devices may be used depending on what body area will need treated. After the scan, the therapist may need to place some marks on your skin to help position you when you begin your treatments. The simulation process can last from 20-60 minutes. Once completed, the treatment team will use data from your CT images to plan your treatment. Your treatments will begin depending on the timeframe your physician recommends.
Treatment planning in our department involves a team of experts. The Dosimetrist is responsible for working with the physician to plan the best way to deliver radiation to the tumor while avoiding nearby healthy tissue. Using a special computer, the Dosimetrist calculates the direction of the radiation beam and the type of equipment to use. Your CT simulation films are used during this process. The Physicist reviews and ensures the treatment plans are accurate. The Physicist also performs quality testing on the machines. These test ensure the equipment is operating accurately, consistently, and safely. Your treatment plan is customized for you. The treatment planning process may take a few days or longer depending on the complexity of treatment being planned.
Treatment. The Radiation department has a linear accelerator. This machine uses the most advanced technology to deliver your radiation treatment. Your Radiation Therapist will use images like x-rays or On-Board Imaging (OBI) images to ensure you are in the proper position for treatments. Your Radiation Oncologist will review the images and confirm your treatment plan. It is very important not to move during this procedure without asking the therapist. The therapists will leave the room but they will be watching you on a TV monitor and they can hear you speak. The treatment machine may make a small buzzing noise and you may see the machine rotate around you. You will not feel anything during your treatment. If you feel extremely uncomfortable or sick during your treatment, please tell the therapist and they will come to your assistance.
Treatment Schedule-Radiation treatments are usually given Monday through Friday (not on weekends or Holidays). You can continue taking your regular medications unless the physician tells you otherwise. Once you begin, you are given the same treatment every day. You will be in the Radiation Department about 20-30 minutes a day depending on what type of treatment you are taking. During treatment, your treatment plan may be revised depending on your progress and your response. This is not uncommon. Treatments generally last from 2 to 8 weeks. It is important to try and not miss any treatments to get the most benefit.
Follow-up. Your physician will plan your follow-up care. It is important to have regular follow-up exams to check the results of your treatment. Your doctor will determine how often and what tests are necessary after you have completed your radiation therapy. Most patients are being seen by their surgeon or medical oncologist as well, so the frequency of your follow up appointments may vary depending on the collaboration of your physicians.