Your team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center – Proton Therapy is here not only to treat your disease, but to listen to you and take care of you and your family. They are experts in proton radiation therapy who focus on treating patients just like you, every day. They understand your questions, needs and concerns.
Your team includes a group of world-class professionals, including a radiation oncologist, radiation therapist and nurse, who are all here to support you. Behind the scenes, there are engineers, dosimetrists and physicists who work together to plan and provide your therapy. We also have supportive care providers to help with your well-being in every sense. They include social workers, child life specialists, registered dietitians and integrative medicine specialists.
We are committed to your ongoing care. Your proton therapy team will stay in touch with you and your referring doctor, as needed, after your proton therapy sessions are done.
What each team member does
Child life specialists give children emotional support during treatment. They are skilled and caring pediatric health care professionals who help your child understand proton therapy using words and pictures your child can understand. They also teach ways to help young patients relax, express their feelings and make sense of health care procedures.
Your nurse will provide day-to-day care and help arrange any other medical services you might need during your proton treatment. For example, they may help schedule blood tests, scans or appointments. Your nurse is experienced in radiation therapy.
Your medical dosimetrist works with your doctor to prepare a treatment plan that is right for you. They calculate the angles and doses of protons needed to treat your tumor while making sure your healthy tissue gets as little radiation as possible.
A medical physicist checks on the equipment and procedures that are used in therapy. They check your personal treatment plan to make sure you get the right dose of protons targeted exactly to your tumor. This is an important part of making sure your therapy is safe and effective.
Patient care coordinators manage the exchange of your medical records. They also collect details about your case up front so we can decide if proton therapy might be an option for you. They schedule your initial consultation. They also help you understand your insurance, Medicare or Medicaid coverage and help with details about costs and payments.
The patient navigator/concierge greets you and your loved ones when you arrive. They can help with nonmedical needs. If you are traveling to Seattle for treatment, your patient navigator/concierge can help with transportation, lodging and other local services you may need. They can also give you information about educational and social programs to make your stay more enjoyable, like visits to museums and arts organizations.
Your radiation oncologist is the doctor who makes your treatment plan and oversees your proton therapy treatment. They will meet with you once a week to check your progress and talk about any questions or concerns you may have. The radiation oncologists who do proton therapy at Fred Hutch are all members of the University of Washington (UW) Physician Group and hold faculty positions within the UW School of Medicine.
Your radiation therapist will make sure your body is in the right position for each therapy session so you get the exact treatment your doctor planned for you. They will give you your daily treatment.
Team coordinators help with setting up your computed tomography (CT) simulation scan, proton therapy schedule and weekly visits with your radiation oncologist.