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Department of Radiation Oncology
Since the 1970s, we have treated patients with melanoma, squamous cell skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and other malignant skin conditions. Therapy for these diseases has advanced dramatically in recent years, and we work closely with our colleagues at the world-renowned Mass General Cancer Center to improve patient outcomes and provide outstanding, multidisciplinary care.
Most of our patients begin treatment by having their tumors removed surgically. Other patients, when needed, undergo reconstructive surgery to repair affected areas. After these treatments, our radiation oncologists use innovative external beam radiation therapy to destroy remaining diseased tissue and help prevent the tumor from recurring. Radiation treatment can also be used as a primary treatment modality for patients presenting with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in the head and neck regions.
Additionally, we administer radiotherapy to patients whose cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Patients with diseased lymph nodes above the chest receive excellent care from a radiation oncologist who also is an expert in treating the head and neck, a region that contains extremely sensitive structures such as the eyes and cranial nerves.
To treat melanoma and other skin diseases, we use external beam radiation therapies, which are considered conventional by today's standards. The critical difference, however, lies in how we apply these traditional technologies.
Using advanced 3D-imaging technology, a physicist specifies a highly-defined, three-dimensional treatment area for each patient. This process enables us to precisely target diseased skin at the surface and in the layers below, typically producing excellent outcomes while avoiding the exposure of healthy skin to radiation. This personalized approach ensures patients receive effective therapy but are protected against "over-treatment."
Most of our referrals are from dermatologists. For patients whose dermatologist is not at Mass General, please bring your medical records and any test results with you to your first appointment. We will communicate closely with your specialists throughout your therapy.
Every step of your treatment is managed by one or our work-class physicians:
We encourage you to ask us about any step in the treatment process, from understanding the safety of your therapy to managing side effects. The answers to many frequently asked questions also appear in Your Guide to Radiation Therapy (PDF).
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Clark Center for Radiation Oncology
Vida E & Arthur L. Goldstein Lunder Building
Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center30 Fruit StreetBoston, MA 02114Phone: 617-726-0923 (Proton Inquiry Line: 617-724-1680)Fax: 617-726-6498Email: InformationRadOnc@partners.org
Hensin Tsao, MD, Director of Mass General's Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Center explains how family history, genetic risks and personal health history can all affect your risk of melanoma, and what steps you should take to detect it at an early, treatable stage.
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