How to Choose a Radiation Oncologist

How to Choose a Radiation Oncologist pic
How to Choose a Radiation Oncologist
Image: hopkinsmedicine.org

Dr. Laurie Cuttino has conducted research and served as an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for nearly 10 years. In addition, Dr. Laurie Cuttino focuses on treating patients who have been diagnosed with a wide range of malignant tumors in her role as a radiation oncologist.

When searching for a radiation oncologist, it is important to evaluate several factors to make the important decision of who you will see for treatment.

Credentials
In general, oncological physicians possess a degree as either an osteopathic or medical doctor, which signifies that they have completed four years of medical school and the required postgraduate training. To become a subspecialist in radiation oncology, a physician must undergo 5 additional years of specific residency training in the field. In addition to assessing a doctor’s training, you can check to see whether your prospective radiation oncologist is board certified in the specialty.

Personal Repertoire
While knowing that a radiation oncologist holds the proper credentials, you also should determine whether or not you will be comfortable working with the practitioner. Some patients prefer a stoic, professional physician while others seek care from someone who also can tend to their emotional needs. If you require long-term care, you may wish to find a radiation oncologist with whom you can form an amiable relationship. No matter your requirements, you should choose the physician who will be the best fit for you throughout your treatment.

Cancer Treatments: Brachytherapy

A radiation oncologist and expert in brachytherapy, Dr. Laurie Cuttino treats patients with cancer through Henrico Doctor’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia. Brachytherapy works by placing radioactive material strategically in the body to shrink or eliminate cancerous tumors. When professionals like Dr. Laurie Cuttino carry out the procedure, they may rely on CT scanners or other imaging technologies to ensure that the material is inserted in the proper location.

Brachytherapy comes in several different types, including high-dose and low-dose options. The former is usually administered as an outpatient procedure and involves inserting radioactive materials into a patient for time periods of up to 20 minutes. The low-dose option takes longer to administer, because patients receive small amounts of radiation over hours and days; low-dose brachytherapy patients stay at the hospital over the course of their treatment.

Some patients may benefit from a third option, permanent brachytherapy, which entails permanently implanting material that emits low-dose radiation into the body. The amount of radiation given off by the material decreases over time.