Proton therapy

Care team

Your Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center proton therapy team is here not only to treat you, but to listen to you and take care of you and your family. They are experts in the field of proton radiation therapy, and focus exclusively on treating patients just like you, every day, and understand your questions, needs and concerns.  

Your team includes a group of world-class professionals including a radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, nurse, physicist, and dosimetrist, all here to support you. We integrate supportive care services, such as social workers, child life specialists, registered dietitians and integrative medicine specialists, to promote your well-being in every sense.  

Dosimetrist Dosimetrists ensure radiation therapy is specifically directed to the disease within the patient's body. Integrative medicine Combines conventional (standard) medical treatment with complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies that have been shown to be safe and to work. CAM therapies treat the mind, body and spirit. Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation.

What each team member does

Radiation oncologist

Your radiation oncologist is your physician and will meet with you once a week to review your progress and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. The radiation oncologists who provide clinical care at the Fred Hutch - Proton Therapy are all members of the University of Washington Physician Group and hold faculty positions within the UW School of Medicine.

Oncologist A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment, such as treating cancer with radiation. A physician who has special training in diagnosing and treating cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a particular type of cancer treatment. For example, a radiation oncologist specializes in treating cancer with radiation. Radiation oncologist A physician who has special training in using radiation to treat cancer.
Clinical nurse

Your care team nurse will provide day-to-day care and help coordinate any additional medical services you might need during your proton treatment, including: arranging for blood tests, scans, medical appointments or other services you need. Your clinical nurse is experienced in radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy The use of high-energy radiation from X-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. The use of high-energy radiation from x-rays, gamma rays, neutrons, protons and other sources to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance, such as a radiolabeled monoclonal antibody, that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body.
Radiation therapist

Your radiation therapist will confirm that you are positioned correctly. This will ensure your treatment is delivered precisely according to your physician’s treatment plan. They will deliver your daily treatment and will remain close by while you receive therapy.

Treatment plan A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A treatment plan may also include information about how much the treatment is likely to cost and about regular follow-up care after treatment ends.
Patient care coordinator

Patient care coordinators manage the exchange of your medical records, collect information for evaluating your individual care plan and schedule your initial consultation. They also assist you in understanding your insurance, Medicare or Medicaid coverage, and help coordinate your payment and manage your costs.

Medical dosimetrist

Your medical dosimetrist works with your physician to prepare a treatment plan specific to you. They calculate the angles and doses of proton energy required to treat your tumor, while ensuring your healthy tissue is exposed to as little radiation as possible. 

Dosimetrist Dosimetrists ensure radiation therapy is specifically directed to the disease within the patient's body. Treatment plan A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A treatment plan may also include information about how much the treatment is likely to cost and about regular follow-up care after treatment ends.
Medical physicist

A medical physicist monitors the equipment and procedures used in therapy. They run patient-specific checks on your treatment plan to be sure you receive the correct dose of protons targeted precisely to your tumor.

Medical physicist A medical physicist manages and maintains scanning equipment. Treatment plan A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A detailed plan with information about a patient’s disease, the goal of treatment, the treatment options for the disease and the possible side effects and expected length of treatment. A treatment plan may also include information about how much the treatment is likely to cost and about regular follow-up care after treatment ends.
Patient navigator/concierge

The patient navigator/concierge greets you when you come to the Center and can help and answer questions regarding your non-medical needs. If you are traveling to Seattle for treatment, your patient navigator/concierge can help you locate transportation, lodging and other local services you may need. They also plan and coordinate educational and social programs for you, such as visits to local museums and arts organizations. 

Patient navigator A person who helps guide a patient through the health care system. This includes help going through the screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of a medical condition, such as cancer. A person who helps guide a patient through the health care system. This includes help going through the screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of a medical condition, such as cancer. A patient navigator helps patients communicate with their health care providers so they get the information they need to make decisions about their care. Patient navigators may help patients set up appointments for physician visits and medical tests and get financial, legal and social support. They may also work with insurance companies, employers, case managers, lawyers and others who may have an effect on a patient’s health care needs. Also called a patient advocate.