Arizona Oncology’s board-certified physicians and staff specialize in:
We treat all major types of cancer and blood diseases and understand the special needs you and your family will face. That is why our cancer centers were designed with your needs in mind and our professional staff provides comprehensive compassionate patient care.
Our medical teams work closely together in every stage of diagnoses, treatments, and decisions that will affect your health. This teamwork brings you the advantage of multiple opinions and medical services that are customized to best treat your specific condition.
Medical Oncology services you receive at Arizona Oncology are provided by a team that consists of medical oncologists and oncology-trained nursing staff. This team plays a major role in your cancer care. They manage your treatment plans and therapies, monitor and evaluate your progress, and collaborate on your best options with your other medical caregivers. They consult with you on your choices and any temporary side effects you may experience during chemotherapy treatments. They offer medical guidance, helping you make decisions along the way. And they also connect you and your family with the best supportive services for educational, emotional, and financial challenges you may face.
Caring for Patients with Hematologic Diseases
Patients with disorders of the blood and related tissues require an accurate diagnosis for effective care. At Arizona Oncology, our team of hematologists treats many types of disorders of the blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, and the immune system.
Diagnosing Blood Disorders
Diagnosis of a hematologic disorder often requires a blood test called a complete blood count (CBC). This test evaluates a small drop of blood and provides a count of the red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Your physicians may also perform other blood tests used to measure enzymes and proteins in the blood, evaluating the function of certain organs such as the thyroid and liver. Because blood develops from the stem cells found in bone marrow, sometimes a sample of bone marrow must be examined to determine why blood cells are abnormal or why there are too few or too many of any kind of blood cell. Bone marrow samples are usually taken from the hip bone using a needle, and the procedure usually takes about 30 minutes.
Treatment of Blood Disorders
Our board-certified hematologists treat many different types of blood disorders, including rare and unusual disorders of the blood, the bone marrow, and the blood vessels. Treatments for blood disorders are as varied as the disorders themselves. Some types of anemia, for example, can be controlled through diet and nutrition. Other blood disorders require more aggressive treatment. From the use of chemotherapy and immunosuppressive drugs to growth factor drugs and blood and marrow transplantation, our hematologists use the latest in therapies and technologies to treat all types of blood disorders. We work closely with our radiation oncologists, pharmacists, and other specialists to ensure comprehensive care of our patients.
Researching Blood Disease
At Arizona Oncology, we are dedicated to expanding the knowledge of cancer and blood disorders, and we are continually working to find better treatment options through clinical trials and other types of research. As part of US Oncology Research, we are able to participate in more clinical trials and provide important access to investigational drugs to people in our community.
Laboratory testing is a key component of detection, diagnosis, and treatment of blood disorders. Our in-house laboratory provides quick results for many routine tests, including complete blood count (CBC), platelet count, and urinalysis, allowing our hematologists to diagnose your disease and prescribe the appropriate treatments as soon as possible.
- Iron Deficiency
- Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
- Red Cell Destruction
- Hereditary Disorders of Hemoglobin
- Bone Marrow Failure
Radiation therapy comes in a variety of formats – from both outside and /or inside the body – depending on the type of cancer and the treatment options available.
Arizona Oncology offers extremely precise and non-invasive radiotherapy treatments that are designed to minimize damage to surrounding normal tissue, and allow patients to carry on with their lives with little interruption. Radiation therapy services are available throughout Phoenix and Tucson at our cancer treatment centers.
Your radiation oncologist is part of a team of cancer specialists that includes medical oncology, surgical oncology, reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, interventional radiologists, and genetic experts. Working together, they discuss your specific needs and create an individualized recommendation for how to use radiation therapy as a part of the overall cancer treatment process.
Radiation treatments are designed to target and destroy cancerous cells by preventing them from growing or dividing while minimizing adverse effects on nearby healthy organs and tissues.
External radiation therapy uses a beam of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Internal radiation treatment also called brachytherapy or high-dose brachytherapy places radioactive material in the body near cancer cells.
If you or a loved one will go through radiation therapy, you may want to read: What to Expect: What Happens Before, During and After Treatment?
Radiation Therapy Technologies
The type of radiation therapy that may be recommended is dependent on the type of cancer, stage of cancer and the patient’s overall health. All of the following radiation therapy treatments are available through the Arizona Oncology cancer treatment centers located in Phoenix and Southern Arizona including Tucson and Green Valley.
You may receive one or more of the following:
External Radiation Therapy
There are several types of machinery used to deliver radiation therapy from outside the body. They are:
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT): A procedure that utilizes imaging capabilities right before the treatment beam is activated giving us the highest accuracy for targeting and thereby allowing us to use very tight/conformal fields helping to minimize normal tissue reactions. IGRT is not a treatment but it helps guide treatment. Options include 3D setups with X-rays, CT scans done on the treatment table and infrared camera systems.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): This therapy uses sophisticated software and hardware to perform to deliver high doses of radiation to a tumor by approaching it from many differs angles or even in continuous arcs, while minimizing the amount of radiation to normal, surrounding tissues. The higher dose to the tumor can result in a higher possibility of cure, and the lower dose to surrounding tissue results in fewer side effects.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): This therapy is a type of IMRT that utilizes more precise positioning and precisely deliver very high focal doses of radiation to tumors in the body (except the brain) given over 3-5 days instead of 6-8 weeks. This has it use most commonly in early lung cancers.
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery(SRS): A type of IMRT specific to the brain and spine that uses special equipment to position the patient and precisely deliver radiation to a tumor. The total dose of radiation is divided into several large doses given over 1-5 treatments.
Internal Radiation Therapy
- High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR): This therapy uses a radioactive source that is placed inside the body part to be treated. Then, a high dose of radiation is given to a limited area, sparing the surrounding normal tissue. HDR brachytherapy lasts only a few minutes in the outpatient setting and causes a little discomfort, fewer complications, and more rapid recovery time.
Types of cancer that are often treated with high-dose radiation include:
- SpaceOAR Hydrogel: Placed between the prostate and rectum, SpaceOAR Hydrogel reduces rectal injury in men receiving prostate cancer radiation therapy (RT) with IMRT or Brachytherapy by acting as a spacer – pushing the rectum away from the prostate, out of the high dose radiation region.
Currently, this new, state-of-the-art treatment is only being done by Curtis Mack, MD in Southern Arizona.