Lodi Radiation Oncologist Dr. Travers McLoughlin with Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute treats his patients with compassion and state-of-the-art technology. Cancer is never easy, and Dr. McLoughlin talks about how he not only helps his patients, but fellow physicians cope with the stress of cancer. View the story below from the Lodi News-Sentinel.
Local oncologist talks breast cancer and treatments from a physician’s perspective
By Christina Cornejo/News-Sentinel Staff Writer
While cancer survivors have their own compelling stories to tell about how they contend with their health struggles, doctors are right there with these patients on the front lines of the battle.
From the moment patients get their diagnosis and are referred to him for treatment, Dr. Travers McLoughlin, a radiation oncologist at the Ben Shaffer Cancer Institute, treats them as if they are members of his own family.
“It’s a privilege and honor to take care of them,” he said.
McLoughlin begins the process for cancer patients with a discussion of potential treatment options. Usually patients come to him after having been given a diagnosis from another doctor, receive a positive mammogram or having had a biopsy confirming the presence of cancer.
With breast cancer, the options typically include mastectomies, lumpectomies, radiation and chemotherapy among other treatments to inhibit the growth of cancer. Side effects are also an important topic McLoughlin discusses with his patients.
One newer treatment called IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy) is used for more cancer affecting lymph nodes, since it can target specific areas. Since radiation can affect other organs in the body there is another technique called a deep inspiration breath hold.
It requires you to hold your breath for 20 seconds to expand the chest cavity and increase the distance between the radiation hitting the breast and the person’s heart. This is especially important if the cancer is affecting the left breast, which is closest to the heart, he said.
But treatments may change depending on that first surgery to remove a tumor or other cancer tissue from the breast, he said.
There may be cancer in the lymph nodes which would change the course of action for doctors on treating the cancer.
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