Stereotactic Radiosurgery demands a team approach, incorporating the expertise and experience of specialized medical professionals. Each plays a vital role in the planning and administration of the treatment.
- Radiation Oncologist
- Medical Oncologist
- Nurse Practitioner
- Radiation Therapist
- Social Worker
- Physical and occupational therapist
A diagnosis of brain or spine cancer can come from a medical oncologist, neurosurgeon or radiation oncologist. The cancer specialist will evaluate the patient’s symptoms and order diagnostic imaging studies, such as an MRI or CT scan, in order to diagnose a brain or spinal tumor.
Once a diagnosis is made, the appropriate treatment is determined. If stereotactic radiosurgery is indicated, together the neurosurgeon and radiation oncologist develop the treatment plan in conjunction with the physicist and dosimetrist.
The physicist ensures the precise dose of radiation is delivered to the patient. The physicist and/or dosimetrist develop a three-dimensional treatment plan using computer planning software.
The radiation therapist positions the patient on the treatment table, operates the machine and monitors the patient throughout the treatment.
The Nurse Practitioner serves as the Brain & Spine Tumor Program Coordinator. She guides the patient and family through the entire process the day of the procedure. The coordinator assists the neurosurgeon with the head frame placement, monitors the patient throughout the day and provides discharge education and instruction.