Administering therapeutic radiation involves a team approach. Mercyhealth team members include a radiation oncologist, a medical physicist, medical dosimetrists, and radiation therapists. Other members of the team provide support services and include a registered nurse, social workers, patient financial counselors, a dietitian, tumor registrars, and a receptionist.
Each patient’s radiation treatments are individualized based on numerous factors, including the cancer type, stage of the disease, and the site to be irradiated. The goal of radiation therapy is to deliver an effective dose of radiation directly to the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
The radiation oncology team carefully coordinates the therapy that is administered to the patient, assuring quality care. Ongoing communication is maintained with each patient’s primary care physician and referring specialty physician to ensure continuity of care. Additional specialty services, such as medical genetics, are engaged as appropriate.
The Janesville Radiation Oncology Department houses two linear accelerators: a Siemens Artiste and an Elekta Versa HD (installed 2018). Both are capable of delivering three-dimensional external beam radiation therapy treatments, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) treatments. The Artiste is equipped with Vision RT, a motion management system that provides real-time optical guidance technology.
The Rockford Radiation Oncology Department houses a near-identical Elekta Versa HD linear accelerator equipped with Vision RT, with the same functionality and ability to treat as Janesville’s system.