Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology Center

1988 S. 16th Street | Wilmington, NC 910 251 1839
  • Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology Center
  • Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology Center
  • Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology Center
  • Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology Center
  • Coastal Carolina Radiation Oncology Center
Appointments Prescriptions
Welcome

We are pleased you have taken the time to visit our website and gather more information about our practice.

Our goal: To provide you, our patient, with excellent medical care each time you visit with us. We understand that this may be a very difficult time for you and your family members and want you to feel comfortable during your care. We are here to answer any questions you and your family may have about your disease and available treatment options.


Our Mission: To treat our patients with technologically advanced radiation therapy in an expert, compassionate, and respectful manner with the goal of improving and extending life. We believe that a commitment to offer our patients the opportunity to participate in high-quality clinical research will improve cancer outcomes for our patients and society in general.

 
 

Latest Posts

Newly Diagnosed Cancer - Beware What "They" Say
12 February 2016
As cancer specialists, the majority of us practice what is called "Evidence-Based Medicine." In lay terms, this means that recommendations are based on evidence that can be stated as fact. For example, it is factual that, for the majority of breast cancer patients, removing both breasts offers no survival advantage over having a lumpectomy followed by radiation. This seems counter-intuitive to people who don't know a lot about cancer, but it's true. In fact, even the risk of local recurrence, either on the chest wall following mastectomy, or in the breast following breast conservation, is similar. Yet, often as I discuss this with patients at the time of consultation, I hear that the patient was advised by someone, "I would take them both off!" This choice is acceptable, as long as the patient understands that it is not necessary in the majority of cases. Once removed, breasts cannot be put back, although some patients undergo a cosmetic reconstruction. Our ability, today, to safely preserve the breast is the result of many years of medical research. As a cancer specialist, my duty is to offer objective advice to the patient and allow the patient to decide for themselves which treatment option they prefer. In most cases, breast conservation is the preferred option. As another example, some patients don't realize that both surgery and radiation are acceptable treatments for prostate cancer, and have equivalent survival. Yet, we often find that patients who choose one over the other do so because of a story they heard from a "friend". The patient who chose surgery heard that radiation would cause one bad effect, and the one who chose radiation heard that surgery would cause a bad effect. Both modalities have their pluses and minuses, of course, and the best information comes from consultation with both a urologist and a radiation oncologist. Beyond treatment modality, the same type of misinformation also extends to side effects. As a radiation oncologist, the biggest worry we hear is that we are going to "burn them up"! While some patients certainly have some "burning" as an effect of their radiation, I would compare this to a surgical incision which is also often painful. In either case, whether an incision or a "burn", if a life is saved, hopefully it was not suffered in vain. There is no question that friends’ (and friends of friends’) stories are related to the newly-diagnosed friend with the best of intentions. However, this information is often not what is typically experienced. Often the experience related is from twenty years ago. Other times it was an experience from a different cancer. And make no mistake, sometimes the treatment course is genuinely rough. Sometimes expected, other times not. So, how does one tread through all the noise and make the right decision? Be sure that you talk to your doctors. Most cancers involve a radiation oncologist, medical oncologist and a surgical oncologist. Some cancers don't need surgery.  Others don't need chemotherapy or radiation. The best advice I can offer is to cross reference these specialties and ask "Is there any potential role for a surgeon? A medical oncologist? A radiation oncologist?" Each specialist can tell you the risks and benefits of their treatment. Take charge of your own healthcare, ask questions, don't hesitate to ask for a second opinion, and take medical advice from non-physicians with a grain of salt.  Because one patient had a bad experience, or a good one, doesn’t necessarily mean that your experience will be the same.
Early Stage Lung Cancer: A Cure Without Cutting
04 December 2012
As Lung Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end this November, I’ve chosen to highlight a promising new radiation treatment for patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that either decline surgery or are “medically inoperable” (unable to have surgery due to poor health, usually weak heart or lung function). This technique is called Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) and generally consists of 7-9 different radiation beams entering the body from different angles.  All of the beams overlap at the tumor, delivering a very high RT dose focally at that site. There is rapid dose “fall-off” in areas where the beams don’t overlap outside of the tumor.  Thanks to advances in RT machines and the software that controls them, the size of each RT beam can be as small or smaller than the tumor itself, resulting in much less radiation dose to nearby normal lung than previous techniques.  SBRT is typically delivered in three to five sessions over 1-2 weeks, whereas a conventional RT course to treat an early NSCLC would be delivered in 35 sessions over 7 weeks.