A team approach to treating prostate cancer

As chief medical physicist at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, Adil Akhtar's job is all about the details. 

Patients undergoing radiation treatment may never meet him, but they benefit from his work. He ensures, first and foremost, patient safety, as well as the quality and effectiveness of every radiation treatment a patient receives.

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Posted September 28, 2016

What happens during radiation therapy for prostate cancer?

When patients undergo radiation therapy, it’s common for them to ask: What will it feel like?

At Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, we deliver a variety of radiation treatments using the Trilogy Linear Accelerator by Varian Medical Systems. Its powerful, advanced motion management capabilities make it possible to treat tumors with precision and efficiency.

“Typically, patients are amazed after their first few treatments, because it’s kind of like getting an X-ray,” says WVCI radiation oncologist Dr. David C. Fryefield. “You lie on the table, you don’t move and the machine rotates around you.”

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Posted March 4, 2016

Treating prostate cancer with radiation therapy

When prostate cancer patients consider treatment options like radiation therapy, they often have a lot of questions. Willamette Valley Cancer Institute oncologists are here to help you make the best decisions for your individual situation.

“There’s a lot of misinformation and fear about radiation so I schedule extra time with patients,” says radiation oncologist Dr. David Fryefield. “We sit and talk and work our way through their questions and concerns.”

One challenge in treating the prostate is its location in the body. “It’s deep in the pelvis. The bladder sits right on top and the rectum sits right behind,” Dr. Fryefield says. “In the past, it was hard to treat the prostate and miss those other really important organs.”

But radiation therapy has come a long way. It is now delivered through several precise methods, resulting in fewer side effects for the patient.

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Posted November 19, 2015

Things get hairy in November for a good cause

No razors for 30 days. That’s the mantra for participants of Grow Your Mo, a community campaign to raise money for Oregon Cancer Foundation.

Thirteen men from Lane County are growing their facial hair for the month of November to spread awareness about OCF’s Financial Assistance Program. The program provides stopgap emergency funding to patients undergoing cancer treatment in Lane County.

Participants include Willamette Valley Cancer Institute oncologists Jeff Sharman, Charles Anderson, John Fitzharris and Matthew Lonergan, along with elected officials Pat Farr and Sean VanGordon. TV and radio personalities Rick Dancer, Barry MacGuire and Anthony Kustura are also in the lineup of men soliciting votes at growyourmo.org.

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Posted November 17, 2015

Rick Dancer: Cancer was blessing I didn’t expect

Rick Dancer is a storyteller. It’s his passion and his talent.

But in January of 2010, Rick’s own story took a life-changing turn when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He had already been through some tough times prior to his diagnosis. After 20 years in broadcast journalism, he’d quit his job as a high-profile TV news anchor and made an unsuccessful run for the position of Oregon’s Secretary of State.

“I felt like I’d lost a lot,” Rick says. “I’d given up, and fought and lost, fought and lost. So when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was so afraid of losing again.”  

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Posted September 9, 2015