St. Francis Comprehensive Cancer Center Team
The St. Francis Comprehensive Cancer Center consists of individuals dedicated to providing the best in cancer services in an environment that supports patients and their families.
Patients referred to the Cancer Center consult with a board-certified medical or radiation oncologist assisted by an oncology nurse. Highly skilled and well-trained nurses and radiation therapists perform all chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and a doctorate-level radiation physicist performs all radiation equipment safety checks and verifies dose calculations.
For patient convenience, a CT scanner was dedicated for service in the Cancer Center for providing site-of-service delivery for radiation therapy and tissue biopsies. A second CT scanner, located in Radiology, provides multiple images in a fraction of a second, enabling whole body scans to be performed in 35 seconds. The equipment improves the detection and localization of small lesions and tumors that could be missed on a single-slice CT scanner.
The installation of the only full-ring PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanner in the Topeka service area illustrates the commitment of St. Francis to be at the forefront in the battle against cancer. This imaging modality is considered the gold standard of cancer detection. PET scans can show doctors whether radiation or chemotherapy treatments are working or whether they need to be changed to be more effective in fighting cancer.
St. Francis offers Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), an innovative, noninvasive therapy used to treat cancer in the prostate, chest, shoulder, head, neck, abdomen and stomach. To ensure precise delivery of the radiation beams to the tumor during IMRT, treatment must be centered directly on the tumor. By combining CT, MRI and PET scans with computer technology, radiation oncologists at St. Francis are able to trace the tumor's exact location. IMRT uses sophisticated treatment machines and computers to shape each treatment field to many different configurations each day, so the dose delivery is precise and adjacent normal tissues are protected.