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Chuck - Head & Neck Cancer

Chuck - Head & Neck Cancer

Chuck knew where to go for treatment of his head and neck cancer, because he's worked in cancer treatment for more than 25 years. In 2019, RayStation Magazine did a story on him. 

"I received my treatment at my place of work, completed by my colleagues, who used RayStation. RayStation provides good tools to make great plans, and I would recommend it to anyone who asks. I trusted my colleagues completely with my treatment, a trust that comes from seeing the treatment plans they do daily, knowing the great quality in them. For that I’m grateful, and today I’m fully recovered.”

Charles Bloch was diagnosed with opharyngeal cancer and chose to be treated at his own department, which uses RayStation treatment planning system. 

Dr. Charles Bloch shares his own treatment journey

Charles Bloch, associate professor in the department of radiation oncology at University of Washington, will never forget the day he was diagnosed with cancer. Having spent his professional life treating cancer, it was a dramatic reversal to suddenly be the patient. “The most important thing I learned was that it takes a great support system to recover,” Bloch says.

Charles Bloch has more than 25 years’ experience as a medical physicist within radiation oncology, gained at some of the best-known centers in the US. Currently, he is a faculty member at the University of Washington and provides clinical support at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Proton Therapy Center. The center adopted RayStation in 2015 – a move Bloch is happy with. “Choosing RayStation as our treatment planning system was absolutely the right decision. I would recommend it to anyone,” he says. 

In October 2016, Bloch was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer, which had spread to lymph nodes in his neck. As for any cancer patient, the diagnosis was devastating. However, Bloch had great insight into his condition, and he knew every detail about the treatment he would receive: a combination of surgery and  proton therapy.

“I have worked at some of the best clinics in the US, with some of the best people in the industry,” Bloch says. “When choosing the right center for my own case, I weighed in factors such as the clinicians, the treatment planning system and the treatment delivery machine. In the end, I chose my own department.” Making this decision required total confidence in his team and the department’s quality of treatment. “I’m really proud that my team was the top choice to treat me. I had a great confidence in them as I’ve viewed their work daily for many years."

After recovering from surgery, Bloch received proton therapy over a three-month period. All treatment planning was carried out on RayStation. Today, he considers himself fully recovered. “I was treated using the best equipment available. For that I’m grateful,” Bloch says. “I was lucky. I’m happy to talk about my outcome and the excellent treatment I got. I even show my own plans when I give talks.”

Now back at work, Bloch has even greater confidence in the work he and his team do. He also emphasizes the importance of support from family and friends. “I wouldn’t say that I do my work any differently now, but I can relate to the patients in a new way. Being sick showed me the need for a strong support system. I got amazing support from those close to me, and I wish the same kind of support for all patients. It really concerns me when I see they don’t have it. We can create great plans, but having someone there to take care of you is a big factor for recovery.”