If your physician has referred you for radiation therapy, you will meet with a radiation oncologist for a consultation. The doctor will review your test results, conduct a physical examination and explain how radiation therapy works.
The Sinai-Grace Cancer Center
The Sinai-Grace Cancer Center offers the advantages of leadership and treatment by board-certified radiation oncologists. The Sinai-Grace Cancer Center treats a wide-range of cancers, including:
- head and neck
- gynecologic cancers
Radiation therapy is provided at the Sinai-Grace Cancer Center, located on the main campus, which offers advanced technology and expertise to help patients fight all types of cancer. The Center is lead by board certified radiation oncologists. They work with a team that includes physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and oncology nurses to provide high-quality, compassionate care.
The Sinai-Grace Cancer Center is located next to DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in a freestanding building with free parking reserved for patients just outside the entrance. A cheerful, sunlit waiting room provides a warm, comfortable setting for patients and their companions. Complimentary snacks and coffee also are available to make the stay more comfortable. DMC Sinai-Grace will provide transportation for qualified patients.
Appointments are available quickly, normally within 48 hours. Progress reports are sent regularly to referring physicians.
Sinai-Grace Cancer Center
6071 W. Outer Drive
Detroit, MI 48235
What makes us unique
Learn about the Sinai-Grace Cancer Center:
- Treatment team
- Supportive environment and supportive care
- Types of radiation therapy
- What to expect during radiation therapy
A Professional and Caring Treatment Team
Our team of compassionate, knowledgeable professionals includes physicians, nurses, dosimetrists, radiation therapists and physicists.
- Radiation oncologists are doctors who have received specialized training in the treatment of cancer. They oversee the development of the patients radiation therapy treatment plan, monitor the patients progress and adjust treatment if necessary to make sure patients get quality care throughout their therapy.
- Medical radiation physicists work directly with the radiation oncologist and are responsible for taking precise measurements of radiation beams and other safety measurements.
- Radiation therapists treat patients under the doctor's direction and maintain patient records.
- Dosimetrists determine radiation doses, making sure the tumor receives the proper amount of radiation. Dosimetrists work with the radiation oncologists to plan the patient’s optimum treatment.
- Radiation oncology nurses educate patients and families about cancer and radiation treatment. They also help manage patients' side effects that may arise during treatment.
A Supportive Environment and Supportive Care
The Sinai-Grace Cancer Center is located in a separate barrier-free building on the Sinai-Grace Hospital campus. Convenient, free reserved parking is located right outside the entrance. A cheerful, sunlit waiting room provides a setting that is warm and comfortable. Refreshments are available free of charge for patients.
Each member of the radiation oncology team contributes to the delivery of high quality, compassionate care. The Center provides additional programs for our patients, including a monthly cancer support group, Look Good, Feel Better classes, and a personal health manager. For more information on the Center, or to sign up for our support group, call 313-966-3116
- Look Good, Feel Better Look Good, Feel Better provides cosmetic advice to women battling cancer. This training includes hands-on instruction on makeup, skin care and other services.
Click here for more information about cancer support groups and Look Good, Feel Better programs.
Quality Assurance and Safety
A number of our faculty members are national and international leaders in the delivery of quality care for radiation therapy.
Our caregivers are licensed and/or credentialed professionals in all areas of our program. Our training programs for residents, medical physics residents, and therapists are accredited. All members of your treatment team participate in continuing education within our department and nationally to ensure that we provide you with the best care.
To ensure quality treatments, we follow processes that include multiple review steps prior to and during delivery of your course of treatment. You are cared for by a team of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dosimetrists, therapists, and physicists. After your CT simulation, a treatment plan is created following your physician’s requirements to provide you with the best care. After your physician has approved your treatment plan, a physicist reviews the plan prior to your first treatment.
For patients who receive intensity modulated radiation therapy, an additional step is taken to verify the integrity of the treatment plan at the treatment unit prior to the first day of treatment. The results will be reviewed and approved by a physicist before treatment can begin.
Prior to the delivery of each treatment, the therapists who care for you at the treatment center verify your physician’s prescription, the plan information, and then the delivery of that plan. The therapists also use the cameras and intercoms to monitor you during treatment. During the course of your treatment, your progress through treatment is reviewed by your caregivers. This review includes weekly review of the treatment delivery and parameters related to your care.
How Radiation Therapy Works
Radiation causes damage to cells by interfering with the cancer cell's ability to grow and reproduce. Cells that are growing and multiplying are especially sensitive to the effects of radiation. This is particularly important in treating cancer. Cancer cells reproduce more frequently than normal cells, so they are more susceptible to damage from radiation. Normal cells can also be affected by radiation, but normal cells tend to be able to recover from radiation damage.
When radiation treatments are given for cancer, special care is taken to ensure that as much normal tissue as possible is spared from radiation exposure. The radiation dose is precisely measured and carefully aimed to kill as many cancer cells as possible while sparing normal tissue.
Types of Radiation Therapy
- External Beam Therapy. This is one of the most common types of radiation therapy and is a painless form of treatment. The radiation comes from an outside source and is directed to the cancer inside the patient. Treatment is usually given four or five times a week and takes only minutes. Treatment may last between one and seven weeks depending on the type of cancer and the goal of treatment.
- Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Through a four-dimensional control system, the tumor site can be pinpointed and allows highly specialized treatment that gives an even dose of radiation to the tumor and minimizes damage to surrounding tissue.
- Brachytherapy. In this form of treatment, a radiation source is placed as close as possible to the tumor site, sometimes inside the tumor. Most sources are removed from the patient after treatment; however, some may remain permanently while the patient continues normal activities.
What to Expect During Radiation Therapy
The Initial Consultation
The first visit to the Center is for a consultation. During this appointment, a doctor reviews test results and conducts a physical examination. The doctor meets with the patient and their family to discuss radiation therapy as a treatment option and explain how the therapy works, the goals of treatment and possible side effects.
The dosimterist and doctor will develop a treatment plan that will provide the safest and most effective treatment. The location and site of the tumor is pinpointed, as well as surrounding tissues and organs, during the CT simulation process. This allows for accurate targeting of the tumor and reduces side effects to surrounding tissues and organs.
For more information about DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital’s cancer services or a referral to a Sinai-Grace oncologist, call 313-966-4800.