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Nov 13, 2019

In this episode, Dr. JYP talks with radiation oncologist Dr. Bill Hixson about the most mysterious cancer treatment – radiation -- and the role that a radiation oncologist plays. Dr. Hixson shares his views on patient care and explains how he works with an interdisciplinary team. Plus, they discuss the newest innovations in radiation treatment as well as side effects and how to manage them.

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Key Takeaways

- The radiation oncologist is the physician who leads the radiation treatment team.

- Radiation treatment planning determines how much radiation can be allowed for a patient. The radiation oncologist will keep that dosage as low as possible.

- Radiation treatment and chemotherapy can be used concurrently if the patient can tolerate the treatments and the plan fits their cancer treatment needs.

- Radiation therapy generally has fewer short-term side effects than chemotherapy, is painless, and will not make the patient radioactive.

- Communicate with your radiation oncologist and radiation team. Let them know of any side effects or discomfort you might experience after radiation treatment.



Dr. William Hixson - Website

The Doc Said:

Radiation oncologists are the physicians who talk with the patients about their cancer, and how radiation can be incorporated into their treatments.  - Dr. Bill Hixson

Radiation oncologists help patients decide what to do; then they give the radiation treatments, and they follow up with the patient after treatment. - Dr. Bill Hixson

I always tell patients, “You won't be sick to your stomach, vomit (unless we’re treating your head) and you won't lose your hair.” - Dr. Bill Hixson

Radiation treatment will not make you radioactive, and you don't feel a thing. - Dr. Bill Hixson

What happens is in between each radiation treatment, the patient's normal cells can repair most of the damage caused by their cancer. - Dr. Bill Hixson

Most of the time, when we're giving radiation therapy and someone might need chemotherapy, that's when radiation therapy is the main treatment. The chemotherapy is going to make the radiation stronger. - Dr. Bill Hixson

We try to let patients know what the side effects might be and how we would approach managing those side effects.  Patients need to communicate how they are feeling with their doctors and radiation team. I want them to know that we're always available to help them. - Dr. Bill Hixson