Southern Ohio Medical Center now has the technology available to cut the treatment for gynecologic cancers down from days to hours. High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, currently being used at the SOMC Cancer Center in the treatment of some forms of breast and skin cancer, is now available to women with gynecological cancer and soon will be available for the treatment of lung cancer.
“In the past, women suffering from gynecological cancer would be subjected to at least three days stay in the hospital, lying flat on their back with no movement and no visitors due to the radiation emission in the room,” said Dr. Li-Fen Lien Chang, Senior Medical Director of Radiation Oncology Services. “This procedure will eliminate the lengthy, uncomfortable hospital stay and minimize the number of treatments.”
Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation treatment where radioactive sources are placed on or into cancer tissue. High dose rate (HDR) is a technically advanced form of brachytherapy. A high intensity radiation source is delivered with millimeter precision under computer guidance directly into the tumor killing it from the inside out while avoiding injury to surrounding normal healthy tissue. In gynecological treatments, a vaginal cylinder or a tandem and ovoids are comfortably inserted directly inside the woman’s anatomy and are used to administer the radiation.
“Our team takes a CT scan of the patient prior to the treatment to help create a specialized treatment plan specific to that patient’s needs. The treatment takes approximately 30-90 minutes depending upon the size and complexity of the implant and the activity of the source,” she explained.
Chang said the procedure is outpatient and is more accurate in delivering treatment because it is so focused and allows for a much higher, very localized dose of exposure that is designed to kill the remaining cancer cells at the site.
“Because of the success with this procedure, we will be looking toward the use of HDR brachytherapy for the treatment of lung cancer,” she said.
For more information on this new technology, visit Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Cancer Center on the web at www.somc.org/cancer
Jennifer Jones, MD, a physician specializing in interventional cardiology, has been welcomed to the medical staff of Southern Ohio Medical Center.
Dr. Jones received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. She completed a fellowship in Heart Failure and Transplant at the University of California, San Francisco, CA., and a fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, MI. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology.
Dr. Jones can be reached at SOMC Heart and Vascular Associates, 1735 27th St., Waller Building Suite 207, Portsmouth, OH 45662. Call (740) 356-8772 for more information.
Retired, laid-off and career-changed nurses are invited to regain confidence in the nursing profession by attending Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Nurse Refresher Course from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and 25 in the Gibson Building on SOMC’s East Campus, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth.
The two-day program will allow participants to review fundamentals while discovering new technology with hands-on training. Day one will consist of lectures on documentation, electronic medication records, fundamentals of nursing and an overview of equipment used throughout the hospital; day two will be held in the SSU/SOMC Simulation Lab, allowing participants to practice their renewed knowledge and skills in a simulated hospital setting.
Registration is required and can be made by calling the SOMC Workforce Development Department at 356-2733. Deadline to register is Sept. 22.
Wellington the Wellness Hound, Southern Ohio Medical Center’s new mascot for children’s health was named by nine-year-old Hunter Armstrong. Armstrong was surprised by the announcement by Wellington and SOMC representatives in his fourth grade classroom at Rubyville Elementary. For giving SOMC’s wellness hound a name, Armstrong will ride alongside “Welly” as the Grand Marshall in this year’s River Days Parade. More than 225 children submitted names during the contest.
Josh Hammond, RN, Intensive Care Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center, left, was promoted and sworn in as Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. The ceremony took place Sept. 1 in the SOMC ICU and was conducted by fellow co-worker and guardsman, Phyllis Thieken.
Local Longaberger Branch Leader Dolores Schuman (right) recently presented SOMC Cancer Center staff members Kelly Lawson (left) and Kimberly Richendollar with a donation of more than $800. The contribution was collected by area Longaberger consultants during their Horizon of Hope luncheon and will go toward the hospital’s Breast Cancer Compassion Fund, which provides assistance to local breast cancer patients.
Southern Ohio Medical Center will offer free prostate cancer screenings by appointment Sept. 2, 3, 16 and 17 at a location to be announced. Space is limited and reservations are necessary. To schedule a time, please call the SOMC Volunteer Office at ext. 8234 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday–Friday.