Area Hospital, in collaboration with the Regional Cancer Center at Memorial Medical Center, opens the Passavant Radiation Oncology Center Monday, April 3.

Cancer patients will receive radiation therapy treatments at the facility, located at 567 North Westgate, on the Passavant campus. This service will facilitate patients working with the clinical team at Regional Cancer Center at Memorial Medical Center to develop their individualized care plan. Once the plan has been created, the patient can receive their ongoing radiation treatment needs at the Passavant Radiation Oncology Center.

“This approach provides greater access, ease and comfort for the patient during this very difficult time.  They will have the support and availability of this service right here in Jacksonville, while working in partnership with the talented clinical staff of the Regional Cancer Center,” said Harry Schmidt, president and chief executive officer at Passavant Area Hospital.

Radiation is the use of high-energy x-rays or electrons to kill the cancer cells’ DNA and destroy their ability to divide and grow. The Passavant Radiation Oncology Center will feature a TrueBeam Linear accelerator that provides the latest technology in radiation oncology. The linear accelerator creates x-rays which are invisible to the eye. During treatment, the x-ray beam is directed to the area of the body involved with the cancer.

Radiation is used to treat cancers of the lung, breast, brain, prostate, cervix, uterus and other body organs. Most radiation treatments are typically scheduled for five days a week, given Monday through Friday, for a period of six to eight weeks. Radiation treatments can also be used to help reduce pain and suffering in patients with advanced cancer.

A staff of highly trained professionals works with each patient during their treatment. The radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer. Treatments are given by licensed radiation therapists (RTTs) who follow a plan for treatment prescribed by the physician. Specialists in radiation energy and how it works (physicists), radiation dosing (dosimetrists) and radiation nursing are other members of the treatment team.