Your physician will work closely with a team of physician assistants, nurses, radiation therapists, medical assistants and medical services coordinators to ensure an efficient appointment each time you visit us for treatment or follow-up care.
Radition Oncology Physicians
Radiation Oncologists are the doctors who develop your radiation therapy treatment plans. These physicians work with the other members of the radiation therapy team to develop an accurate plan that effectively treats cancer. The Radiation Oncologist monitors the patient during treatment and adjusts the treatment plan as necessary to make sure the radiation is on target while minimizing side effects and maximizing radiation's effectiveness. The Radiation Oncologist works closely with other physicians involved in the patient's treatment and care.
Radiation Oncology Nursing Staff
Radiation oncology RNs and medical assistants work together with radiation oncologists and radiation therapists to care for the patient and family during radiation treatments. Oncology RNs educate patients about possible side effects and offer a plan of care that helps manage them. They assess patients throughout treatment and provide support for coping with side effects, feelings about cancer and its treatment, and fears for the future to the patients and families.
Radiation therapists work with radiation oncologists to administer the daily radiation treatment under the doctor's prescription and supervision. They maintain daily records of radiation therapy and schedule regular quality tests to ensure equipment performance.
Oncology Social Workers
Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. For this reason, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends.
Medical Radiation Physicists
Qualified medical radiation physicists work directly with the radiation oncologist during treatment planning and delivery. They oversee the work of the dosimetrist and help ensure that complex treatments are properly tailored for each patient. Medical physicists are responsible for developing and directing quality control programs for equipment and procedures. Their responsibility also includes taking precise measurements of the radiation beam and performing other safety and quality assurance tests on a regular basis.
Dosimetrists carefully calculate the dose of radiation to make sure the tumor gets enough radiation. Using computers, they work to develop a number of treatment plans that can best destroy the tumor while sparing normal tissue. Since treatment plans are often very complex, dosimetrists work with the radiation oncologist and the medical physicist to optimize the treatment.
Nurse and Patient Navigators
Nurse and Patient Navigators serve as a liaison between individual patients and the various healthcare providers required for proper diagnosis, treatment, and disease management. They serve as a consistent care coordinator throughout a cancer patients' experience, from health education and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.
If you have an inherited disease, a genetic counseling session can help to determine personal risk or the risk for other family members. It can also help identify the testing, surveillance, prevention strategies or research trials that could benefit the patient with a hereditary risk for cancer. Discuss genetic counseling with your oncologist and ask for a referral, if appropriate.
Oncology Dietitians have specific education in the study of nutrition and cancer. Our goal is to help optimize wellness and minimize side effects during and after treatment. Nutritional counseling offers the unique opportunity to learn about the latest research in nutrition and how to apply this information in daily life. Discuss oncology nutritionwith your oncologist and ask for a referral, if appropriate.