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Science & Medicine News Articles

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Your Insurance Questions Answered

Some of the most common questions we are asked at the Center deal with insurance coverage and financial aspects of receiving care. We have rounded up a number of these questions and provided some answers. It’s important to note that answers can vary widely based on the patient’s disease site and stage, insurance policy, and the state in which the insurance company is based, among others.

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Protons for Brain Cancers

Dr. Lia Halasz, one of our brain and central nervous system cancers experts, helps us understand how proton therapy can be beneficial in treating some brain cancers.

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Protons for Head & Neck Cancers

April is Head & Neck Cancers Awareness Month, an excellent time to highlight proton therapy as a treatment option. What are head and neck cancers? Read on to find out more about how proton therapy can be beneficial in treating many head and neck cancers.

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Promising new study explores FLASH Proton Therapy

A lot of people are talking about a new way to deliver radiation, where a large dose of radiation is given in a split second, instead of over several minutes. It’s called FLASH radiotherapy and the goal is to do a better job of killing cancer cells while sparing normal tissues.

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Focus on Prevention for 2020

February is Cancer Prevention Month. Read some of the things you can do to help reduce your cancer risk.

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The Path to Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is a precise, effective cancer treatment, and an important resource for patients and caregivers in the Pacific Northwest. The ability to offer this modality of radiation was the result of decades of work by scientists across multiple disciplines. Here’s a look at what had to happen to make proton therapy available today.

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The Importance of Meditation

Maybe you've heard that meditation is good for you and that we should all practice meditation daily. What is meditation, though, and why is it good for you? Learn from Linda Portnoy, MA exactly what is meditation and why it can be beneficial for patients facing cancer.

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Recent Study shows promise of Proton Therapy for Liver Cancer

A study published earlier this year in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology showed that proton therapy “was associated with improved overall survival” over conventional radiation in certain liver cancer patients. Read on to find out what this means for liver cancer patients like Dale.

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Updates in Rectal Protection during Prostate Radiation

Years ago, almost all of our patients with prostate cancer were treated using a rectal balloon to help protect the rectum from radiation and potential side effects. Now the number of patients treated using the balloon has fallen. Find out why.

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Metastatic Prostate Cancer News

Exciting New Treatment Options for Men with Limited Metastatic Prostate Cancer

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Recap of our Involvement at the Particle Therapy Conference

Last month, a group of staff and doctors attended the Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG) Annual Conference - which exists to promote science, technology, and practical clinical application of particle therapy - to share their latest research and findings.

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What Exactly is a Tumor?

The definition of a tumor is a mass of tissue that is formed by an accumulation of abnormal cells. Read on to learn more about tumors and tumor types.

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April is Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month

This month marks National Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer of the head and neck is often preventable, and if diagnosed early enough, usually curable. There are many signs of hope as treatments have advanced.

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Three Nutrition Tips for Cancer Patients

This month marks National Nutrition Month, and for cancer patients, nutrition is a very important part of treatment. Check out the nutrition tips we have rounded up for you.

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Video: Proton Therapy for Ocular Melanoma

Here at the SCCA Proton Therapy Center, we are proud to offer an Ocular Melanoma Program. Watch our video to learn more.

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Meet our New Associate Medical Director

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Jing Zeng will join our Leadership Team as Associate Medical Director.

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Lung Cancer - A New Hope

November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month. And while lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, there are many signs of hope. Lung cancer treatments have changed dramatically in recent years, with new innovations, increased options and significantly higher survival rates.

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Treat the Breast Cancer, Protect the Heart

A 2013 study found that for every Gr delivered to the heart, a patient’s likelihood of experiencing a major coronary event, such as cardiac arrest, goes up by 7.4%. Read about how proton therapy can help.

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The Bragg Peak - Something to Brag About

What is the Bragg Peak? Learn about this proton phenomenon here.

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What are Secondary Malignancies?

When battling cancer, your immediate concern is to treat the cancer you have. Nobody wants to think about the risk of developing new and different tumors caused by the cancer treatments – or “secondary malignancies” as they are often called.

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What are the Benefits of Protons vs. Surgery for Prostate Cancer?

When diagnosed with cancer, it is crucial to conduct as much research as possible regarding the various treatment options available. This is true for prostate cancer, as there are many different options, including surgery and radiation therapy. When deciding between these two treatment plans, patients should take into account the invasiveness of surgery versus quality-of-life and lifestyle maintenance with radiation. Proton therapy, a specific type of radiation therapy, offers many benefits that surgery does not.

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Why is Reduced Radiation to the Brain Important?

While proton therapy is a potential treatment for patients with numerous types of cancers, it is very helpful for brain tumor patients. Treatment to the brain must be designed to result in as few side effects as possible.

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A Look Behind the Gantry

Our center has a lobby such as you’d find in a hotel, complete with fireplace, comfortable seating, and welcoming staff. But what’s behind the walls and floor?

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What's so special about PBS?

When you Google proton therapy, you frequently come across the words Pencil Beam Scanning (PBS). PBS, also known as spot scanning, is an innovative form of proton therapy that uses a series of small proton beams to paint the tumor with spots of radiation like a pointillist paints a picture, until the entire tumor is covered.

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VIDEO: Making Your Mask for Treatment

Watch our new video on the process of creating your mask for proton therapy.

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Proton Therapy Research in the News

As the medical community continues to conduct research studies on proton beam therapy, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Proton Therapy Center and other medical centers within the region are supporting ongoing trials to expand their knowledge of beneficial treatments and relay this information to patients and their families.

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What’s the deal with Childhood Cancers? with Dr. Ermoian

We sat down with our resident childhood cancer expert, Dr. Ralph Ermoian. Dr. Ermoian is board certified in both pediatrics and radiation oncology and sees patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital and SCCA Proton Therapy Center. He tells us all about childhood cancers - how rare, how they're treated, etc.

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What are Fiducial Markers and why do they matter?

Smaller than a grain of rice, fiducial markers are tiny metal objects that are implanted inside the body to act as a “radiologic landmark,” pinpointing the tumor’s exact location with greater accuracy and precision.

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Breast Cancer & Heart Health: New Information on the Impact of Radiation

For every Gray (a unit of radiation dose measurement), a woman’s chance of a major coronary event goes up by 7.4 percent. That's why the precision of protons is so important.

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What happens to a Tumor during Proton Therapy?

Inquiring minds want to know: What happens to a tumor during proton therapy? Read more to find out.

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On Sarcoma with Dr. Ed Kim

Dr. Ed Kim, our radiation oncologist who specializes in sarcomas, talks about this rare disease.

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Highlights from the PTCOG Conference in Japan

Physics innovations. New techniques for better outcomes. Streamlined operations. These are just a few of the important presentations our staff gave at the recent Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG) conference in Japan. PTCOG studies and promotes particle radiology’s application in the fight against cancer.

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Recruiting underway for a Clinical Trial

Comparing protons with photons for head and neck cancer: this clinical trial is opening for enrollment at SCCA Proton Therapy Center.

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A Key Proton Therapy Partnership

SCCA Proton Therapy Center is the proud owner of a cyclotron made by IBA Group, the world’s largest provider of proton equipment.

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Update on PCORI Breast Trial

We're currently enrolling patients in a breast cancer trial that compares protons to photons (X-rays), led by Athena Award-winning doctor L.Christine Fang.

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ACRO Certified!

For the past year, SCCA Proton Therapy Center has been working towards accreditation by the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO), and we’re happy to report that on December 1, 2016 we were granted full accreditation.

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Protons & Eye Cancers: The Perfect Pairing

Luckily, eye cancers are rare. But when they do happen, their location – in the head, near the brain - makes them uniquely suited to be treated with the precision of protons.

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Medical Director Speaks at Health Care Conference

Dr. Ramesh Rengan was invited by the National Health &Family Planning Commission of China to present on precision medicine at the China–U.S. Hospital Leadership Symposium in Beijing.

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Integrating Research into Cure: studies presented at ASTRO

A review of the proton-related papers presented by our doctors at the annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) meeting in Boston.

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Premera and Regence Expand Proton Coverage

SCCA Proton Therapy Center continues to work with our local and national insurance companies to expand member benefit coverage for appropriate patients in need of proton therapy.

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SCCA Proton Therapy Reps Attend Global Proton Meeting

From May 22 to 28, reps from SCCA Proton Therapy Center attended the Annual Meeting Particle Therapy Co-operative Group (PTCOG 55).

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3-Field H&N Treatment Technique

As our center continues to practice new and innovative treatments, we put a spotlight on the “3-Field Head &Neck Treatment Technique” developed by our own Medical Physics and Dosimetry teams, along with our Radiation Oncologists. This new technique enables us to treat complicated head and neck cancers with multiple dose levels and bi-lateral neck involvement.