Radiosurgery is a noninvasive treatment, where doctors use advanced technology to deliver a precise dose of radiation to a cancerous tumor – without having to cut into the body. Radiosurgery destroys the targeted area without harming the surrounding healthy tissue.
“The technology allows us to track the patient’s position in real time – so we can be sure we’re hitting the target every single time,” said Pauling Chang, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Another benefit for patients, Dr. Chang says, is the convenience of one-day treatment. “I had a patient who had radiosurgery in the morning, and was able to attend a dinner party that same night.”
PAMF is an early adopter of innovative technology – and was the first health care organization in the world to offer this new, precise, radiosurgery technology as part of its comprehensive Cancer Care Program. Learn more about radiosurgery and take a virtual tour with Dr. Chang in this video.
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The Palo Alto Center Radiation Oncology Department’s three newest employees bring some very special qualities to work – gentle natures, soft fur and wet noses! Therapy specialists Sparky, Sunny and Wallie are the first three dogs who are part of PAMF’s Irene Davidson Animal Assisted Therapy Program that launched in January 2012.
Although Gordon Ray, M.D., medical director of the Palo Alto Center’s Radiation Oncology Department, had read about the benefits of pet therapy for cancer patients in scientific journals, it was a real live dog visit to his department that inspired him to start PAMF’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program.
Carla Gomez, PAMF’s Healthy Breast Campaign coordinator in Santa Cruz, is working at a table set up at various Safeway store locations throughout Santa Cruz this month (October) to let people know about our Healthy Breast Program and resources.
This PAMF Healthy Breast Program reaches out to uninsured women to educate them on the importance of breast cancer screenings, and to connect them to resources that are available. Since its inception this past February, we have reached out to more than 3,400 individuals and have provided follow up treatment for 32 women, 5 of whom had surgical removal including 1 breast cancer diagnosis.
Recent buzz on PSA screening is up again, thanks to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft recommendations to be published soon, which plan to downgrade PSA screening from “I – inconclusive” to “D – no benefit” for men younger than 75.
My first gut-level feeling as a health care provider is fear that men will flat out avoid PSA screening based upon this recommendation. On the other hand, perhaps this news will uncover an opportune teaching moment, for men to have a thorough discussion with their physician about the actual pros and cons of PSA screening, as well as prostate cancer screening in general.
In this video, women who are Palo Alto Medical Foundation patients, family members and doctors share their inspirational stories of care and growth through fighting breast cancer. They created this video to inform and help others on the journey of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Following his own prostate cancer treatment, PAMF patient Mike Lowe offered to produce a DVD for the Cancer Care Center to give to all newly-diagnosed prostate cancer patients. With support from his doctor, and funding from two foundations, the patient-produced video – “Prostate Cancer Survivors’ Perspective,” is now given by PAMF to each newly diagnosed prostate cancer patient and has had more than 1,000 views on YouTube.
“The Prostate Cancer Survivors’ Perspective” video has guys who have gone through it talking directly to the new prostate cancer patients,” explains Lowe. “I had to do it because I thought it was necessary, and this is my contribution to the welfare of others who get diagnosed with prostate cancer.
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