As a follow-up to our recent blog post, “A Brief Introduction to Oncology,” today’s post takes a closer look at the specific sub-category of radiation oncology, and how a few important innovations in this field are making an enormous difference in how cancer patients are being treated around the world and right here at Southeastern Med.
Dr. Carl Jueng is a radiation oncologist at Southeastern Med. While he’s been with us for a decade now, Dr. Jueng has been practicing since 1994 and has seen, firsthand, some of the most exciting developments throughout his career.
While radiation therapy has always focused on targeting cancer cells with as much precision as possible, patients are warned some damage to healthier surrounding cells is difficult to avoid. Today, as advanced computer technology has given specialists the ability for greater precision than ever before, these risks have been greatly minimized, leading to more successful treatments, faster recoveries, and better long term outlooks.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Jueng relied on Cobalt 60 gamma ray therapy, which was the trusted industry standard for decades dating back to the 1950s. In the 21st century, however, state-of-the-art Linear Accelators–like the one we have in our new cancer center–have emerged as the new preferred technology in radiation therapy. Linear Accelators use a higher beam of energy, a modulated dosage, and a highly precise point of focus, creating a more effective and efficient treatment with fewer side effects and a reduced radioactive waste.
Even the methods of cancer treatment planning have evolved considerably over the relatively short time period of Dr. Jueng’s career. In the 1990s, Dr. Jueng used treatment planning systems that involved hand-drawing contours on a piece of graph paper. Today, computer 3-D planning is used, which not only helps oncologists with their work, but provides patients with a clearer and easier-to-understand picture of what lies ahead.
To learn more about our Radiation Oncology services at Southeastern Med, contact us today.