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Cancer Care

Radiation Oncology

The Hitt Family Center for Radiation Oncology at Virginia Hospital Center is recognized among the most sophisticated in the country. We are the first in the Washington, DC area to offer a new, extremely precise radiation treatment that maximizes the effectiveness of therapy while minimizing effects on healthy tissue. Our world-renowned, highly skilled specialists and innovative technology attracts patients from around the world. Radiation Oncology at Virginia Hospital Center is celebrated as a premier program due to our comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to care. To provide patients with the individualized attention they need, our staff is experienced in the most advanced approaches to treatment. In addition, we offer technologically superior facilities to provide the best care possible.

Our patients often receive other treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or surgery, as well as radiation therapy. To ensure the best possible outcome, this multidisciplinary approach requires collaboration and coordination among the specialists on a patient's treatment team. Therefore, during your first visit you will meet with your radiation oncologist and an oncology nurse. Your radiation oncologist may consult with any other specialists as necessary before your treatment begins to determine the best course of action. In addition, other members of the Cancer Support Services Program may be brought in to better help you successfully manage your treatment.

The major goal of radiation therapy is to maximize curing cancer while maintaining optimal organ function and quality of life. Because each patient's case presents unique challenges and requires individualized attention, we urge you to consult your radiation oncologist about which treatment plan is best for you. It is extremely important to seek out an expert team of physicians who specialize in your type of cancer to ensure optimal outcome.

What’s New in Radiation Oncology?

The Radiation Oncology Department recently acquired Align RT, a safe and non-invasive system used to track a patient’s position before and during radiation therapy. It uses 3D stereo camera units to track the skin surface and compares it to the ideal position resulting in increased accuracy of treatment. The system can automatically signal for the treatment to pause if the patient moves out of the de-sired position. Recent studies suggest that it can reduce radiation heart damage in breast patients when used with Deep Inspiration Breath Hold.

According to Melinda Mack, Chief Radiation Therapist, the Align RT system presently is used at Virginia Hospital Center with breast, pelvic and lung cancers. In the future, it will be used with most cancers. Ms. Mack states that patients get more accurate treatment because the system monitors any motion and makes the appropriate adjustments to facilitate accuracy. Patients also like the cosmetic benefit of not needing permanent tattoos.

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Patient Success Story

“In October 2014, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 37 years old with no history of breast cancer in my family when my doctor found a lump. Dr. Nasr did an excellent job of explaining the BioZorb device to me. It was reassuring to know the radiation was targeted exactly where it needed to go. I’m doing great.”
— LaRonda Peterson, Suitland, MD. Read more

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