Betty's Story: Cancer Didn’t Hold Her Down

Diagnosed with lung cancer, Betty Williams, one of the first patients to have chemotherapy at the Compton Center at Atrium Medical Center, is back in the swing of life. Betty completed all of her treatment—surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy at Atrium. “I’m doing great now!” she says.

At the Compton Center, you sense a different kind of cancer care. “Our center is wellness-based, rather than illness-based,” says Debbie Gibson, RN, BSN, OCN, manager for the Compton Infusion Center.

Powerful Technology

The Compton Center’s skilled team is taking aim at cancer using some of the most powerful tumor-targeting weapons available. Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) delivers radiation based on the exact size, shape, and position of tumors. Intensity guided radiation therapy (IGRT) uses computerized tomography (CT) imaging to accurately map and treat tumors previously considered difficult or impossible to reach. High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy places sources of high-energy radiation directly inside the body, as close as possible to the tumor.

What does this technology mean for patients?

“A more potent dose with fewer side effects,” says radiation oncologist Ryan D. Steinmetz, MD, of Dayton Physicians Network. “This leading-edge technology, found nowhere else in the region, allows us to deliver radiation in a way that reduces toxicity while delivering a higher dose so more cancer cells are killed.”

The latest national clinical research is also taking place at the center. Through the National Cancer institute-funded Dayton Clinical Oncology Program, eligible patients can access, in their community, the same cutting-edge treatments available at the nation’s leading cancer centers.

“Many drugs now in clinical trials are more effective at targeting cancer and easier to tolerate,” explains research nurse Phyllis Rudokas, OCN, CCRP. “The new targeted therapies are very exciting.”

“When I was first diagnosed, I said, ‘Cancer isn’t going to hold me down. It’s not going to stop me,’” says Betty. “But I don’t think I would have been able to put up such a fight if not for the people at the Compton Center. They encouraged me, built my spirits up, and gave me hope.”

Ryan Steinmetz, MD

Ryan Steinmetz, MD

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