Tag Archives: Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists

cancer.ytratment

Cancer Center Creates Synergy with Like-Minded Life Savers

Cancer is a scary word.

“The word ‘cancer’ is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast to lung to skin cancer, and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control,” said Dr. Daniel Reed, co-founder of Arizona Center for Cancer Care (AZCCC) in Peoria.

While the word itself may be general, those fighting its 100-plus diseases are anything but.

“No two cancer patients are alike – and no two patients’ treatment should be either,” said Dr. Reed, who understands this firsthand as his grandmother fought breast cancer while he was in medical school, inspiring him to go into the field.

Depending on a patient’s needs, he/she may require cancer treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of both. If being treated with a combination, West Valley patients were often required to go to different cancer centers throughout the Northeast and Southeast Valley – sometimes hours away – for regular care. Unsatisfied with West Valley patients’ access to nearby facilities and support services, Dr. Reed partnered with fellow specialists Drs. Christopher Biggs and Terry Lee in 2008 to launch Arizona Center for Cancer Care in Peoria. Their mission, simply put, was to become the future of cancer treatment in Arizona.

“Our multi-specialty treatment center was designed to give us the ability to offer comprehensive cancer care to patients on this side of town – something never done before in this community,” said Dr. Reed.

Upon launching the facility, the group quickly became the first of its kind to offer West Valley patients Brachytherapy, which is an effective, less-invasive treatment for prostate, breast, lung, esophageal, gynecologic and head/neck cancers, among others. They also became the first to invest in and offer Radiosurgery to the area using a state-of-the-art technology called RapidArc® radiation therapy.

“This very precise form of therapeutic radiation uses beams of radiation to treat cancerous tissues without a surgical incision or opening, allows patients to receive treatment in as little as 10 minutes, compared to the several hours it used to take with older technologies like the cyber knife and gamma knife,” said Dr. Reed.

In 2008 the radiation oncologist and team realized they were ready to expand and partnered with prominent medical oncologist Dr. Devinder Singh and his practice, Arizona Center for Hematology and Oncology, increasing the practice to 10 physicians and the West Valley’s first comprehensive cancer practice. By 2011, when the Peoria center became Arizona’s only freestanding radiation oncology facility to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for accreditation, they had also added gynecological cancer treatment to their growing list of patient services, another first for the West Valley.

Over the past year, two major events have happened:
First, it partnered with Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists (ABCS) and Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists (AROS) to expand into the Scottsdale and Southeast Valley markets.
Then, thanks in part to relationships with ABCS and AROS, the group joined together to enter into a long-term relationship with Scottsdale Healthcare, wherein AZCCC is now overseeing the Piper Center’s ENTIRE radiation oncology wing and beyond.

Today, the practice in total now boasts 52 physicians, more than 200 employees and 20 partner offices Valleywide as a result.

“We are a cancer center without walls whose services stretch into every inch of this community, offering the West Valley with the best doctors, best treatment technologies and best research in the country,” says Dr. Reed. “Cancer is a disease of survivors – and we want to keep it that way.”

Health Screenings 101

Be Proactive: Health Screenings 101

Everyone has heard it: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

This oft-used quote from the one-and-only Benjamin Franklin could not be truer for anyone more than seniors.

From arthritis to Alzheimer’s, Scottsdale residents need to take control of their health and wellness at the most proactive level possible. Among the most important ways to become proactive is to simply taking part in recommended health screenings.

Annual physical

Certainly, an annual exam is a must, including a blood pressure check, cholesterol screening and potentially even a diabetes screening. Ideally, this should occur each year no matter one’s age; but, for even the healthiest of individuals turning 50, this is a must-do.

Mammograms

For women, mammograms should be a given. In fact, according to Dr. Luci Chen at Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, new screening guidelines recommend mammograms as early as age 40 for all women, even those with no history of the disease in their families. This is an update from the former age of 50 to begin such tests.

But, Dr. Chen adds that a stunning number of women often don’t begin getting regular mammograms until retirement — or after.

Prostate screenings

Prostate cancer is the most common form of non-skin cancer in America — and rampant among senior-age men. According to Dr. Gregory Maggass of Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists, one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, with likelihood increasing with age.

“Without a doubt, the best chance for a positive outcome, including early diagnosis and less-invasive treatment, is a regular screening starting at age 50,” Dr. Maggass says. “The best bet: Getting a prostate-specific antigen as well as a digital rectal exam, which sounds bad but is much more comfortable than cancer.

Colonoscopies

“As Katie Couric has taught us, both men and women should get their first colonoscopy by age 50, and should repeat the process as doctors request, usually once every five to 10 years,” Dr. Maggass says.

Early diagnosis of colorectal cancer can ensure a 100 percent cure.

Hearing screenings

“Aside from continuous exposure to loud noise, age is the most common cause of hearing loss,” says Sherri Collins of the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. “Physicians can test for hearing loss in a general health assessment, but it is rare, making it imperative for seniors to take the initiative to be tested.”

Collins adds that advancements in technology and services in recent years have provided the ability to live a completely full and productive life if one is experiencing hearing loss — and catches it early.

Vision screenings

While these are recommended as early as age 30 and repeated about every five years, it is imperative to begin a relationship with an optometrist or ophthalmologist, as diabetes-released eye diseases as well as glaucoma and cataracts are common issues among seniors.

For more information on general health screenings, please visit cdc.gov.