Dr. Rex Hoffman explains how the facility he works at provides a nurturing experience for a cancer patient's mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Rex Hoffman is a radiology oncologist at the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.
EmpowHER Correspondent: Finding out that you or someone you love has cancer can be one the scariest times in your life, and those feelings go beyond fear.
Dr. Rex Hoffman: Usually when patients are first diagnosed with cancer they loose that sense of control.
EmpowHER Correspondent: Taking an entirely new approach, the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center is giving patients a sense of control by combining cutting edge technologies with treatment options that address the whole patient mind, body and spirit.
Within Dr. Rex Hoffman’s radiation oncology department, radiation therapy is used to destroy the DNA cancer cells, but for those undergoing the treatment here, patients are given an opportunity to be transported somewhere far away.
Dr. Rex Hoffman: We’re the only facility that employs the ambient experience in the actual treatment rooms where, once again, they’re able pre-select images on the ceiling within that room. They have the ability to pre-select the temperature, the lighting, and even the music within the different examination rooms or consultation rooms.
EmpowHER Correspodent: This seemingly small detail makes the patient feel more relaxed and in control of their experience.
Dr. Rex Hoffman: The scenes are then projected on the ceiling as well as on the wall. These scenes range from different cartoons to different settings – whether it’s Europe, Asia, Australia, etcetera. It’s a way of giving them some sense of control back over the environment.
EmpowHER Correspondent: And while the treatment is made more pleasant with the ambient experience, the technology makes it less time consuming.
Dr. Rex Hoffman: We have the ability to deliver VMAT or volumetric modulated arch therapy, which essentially cuts down the treatment times which normally last anywhere from ten to 20 minutes down to two to five minutes without sacrificing accuracy. In fact, we’re at still at 7mm accuracy with this technology and we incorporate CT scans to ensure patients are in the proper position before pushing the button to initiate the treatment.
The entire goal of what we do here in planning and providing treatment to our patients is to maximize the delivery of radiation to the target tissue, in many cases the tumor or target cancer, while minimizing exposure to nearby critical structures, namely normal tissues. We do that by using sophisticated treatment planning treatment techniques and then importing that into the machinery to deliver such radiation to accomplish this goal.
EmpowHER Correspondent: But the Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center is much more than cutting edge technology. The center’s mission is to provide loving support and options to patients and their families at a time in their life when they need it most.
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About Dr. Rex Hoffman, M.D.:
Rex Hoffman, MD, is a board certified radiation oncologist and the Medical Director of the Radiation Oncology Department at The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center. He received his medical degree from Tulane University and radiation oncology specialty training at The University of California, San Francisco.
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