Monthly Archives

February 2017

Do your part to save your life…

By | Breast Cancer, Cancer, colon cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Exercise & Nutrition, Pancreatic cancer, Provision Health and Fitness, Survivors, Throat cancer, Uncategorized | No Comments

Nobody wants cancer, but in the U.S. one in every two men and one in every three women will get it at some point in their lives.

February is National Cancer Prevention month, and although there are no guarantees—we all know those who have developed the disease through circumstances beyond their control—science has shown us that many cancer cases are preventable through practical, healthy lifestyle choices.

The Harvard School of Public Health estimates up to 75 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. could be prevented, while the American Cancer Society declares about 60 percent of American cancer cases to be preventable. Read More

Provision dosimetrist ranks with best in planning contest

By | Cancer, Clinical Care, dosimetry, Head and neck cancer, Innovation, Knoxville, Physicist, Proton Therapy, side effects, Technology, Tennessee, Throat cancer, Uncategorized | No Comments

When his boss sent out an email encouraging those in the Provision medical physics department to participate in an international treatment planning competition, Kevin Kirby decided to give it a shot.

Sponsored by ProKnow, a radiation analytics and quality assurance company, the assignment of creating a radiation treatment plan for a head and neck cancer case attracted more than 200 entries.

In the final results, Kirby’s entry ranked 21st among 238 treatment plans, and first among proton therapy entries.

“A perfect score was 150,” said Kirby, a medical dosimetrist at Provision Proton Therapy Center. “I got 144.” The top score was 146.9.

He is the second Provision employee to place high in the ProKnow competition, known as the QADS Plan Study. Samantha Hedrick, a medical physicist, achieved third place out of 124 entries in 2013.

ProKnow develops and sells software to “help improve the standard of care in radiation oncology” through analytical tools and databases that help customers measure and track their planning efforts with a goal of identifying best practices for treating a variety of diseases.

The plan Kirby submitted was scored on a scale of 20+ criteria categories, with the ultimate goal of providing the most dose to the tumor versus the least dose to the surrounding, healthy parts of the body.

Kirby credited his treatment modality, proton therapy, with giving him an edge over competitors using conventional radiation treatment methods.

Proton therapy is particularly suited to treatment of head and neck cancer, because “you are dealing with some very critically sensitive areas to radiation, such as the spine and brain,” Kirby said. “Proton therapy is just one of the top ways to treat one of the most difficult areas to get to in the body.”

“Kevin is an outstanding dosimetrist.  Along with the rest of our staff, Kevin’s knowledge and work ethic has kept Provision’s planning capabilities at the forefront of radiation therapy,” said Ben Robison, Provision director of medical physics.

Kirby’s high score got him a phone interview with ProKnow in which he was asked about his personal background and more details about his planning methods. ProKnow is making the interview available via its website. Ranking so high among other treatment plans is quantitative validation that proton therapy and, specifically, the medical care at Provision, is best-in-class, he said.

“There’s a lot of hyperbole,” Kirby said. “This is a blind, metric product that shows our treatment is one of the best in the world. It just validates what we’re doing here.”

Movement, nourishment more important as you age

By | Exercise & Nutrition, Kathleen Bullock, Provision Health and Fitness, Provision Health and Performance, Survivors, Uncategorized | No Comments

Aging is a fact of life. So let’s talk about how to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible, making the most of our years. “Age is just a number.” On our Tanita scale it gives us a health age. It is very encouraging when that’s younger than our chronological age. However, it doesn’t take our blood pressure or cholesterol or stress level or sleep habits or lifestyle into account. It does, in fact, consider your weight, your percent of body fat, and your waist circumference. Now is a wonderful time to consider how your lifestyle can help improve your chronological age and improve your future. Read More

Proton therapy helps prevent heart disease

By | Breast Cancer, Cancer, Clinical Trials, research, side effects, Survivors, Uncategorized | No Comments

If you ‘heart’ your ‘heart,’ a growing number of studies demonstrate that treating cancer with protons helps reduce the risk of heart disease due to radiation exposure. This is especially important for breast cancer patients, whose cardiovascular systems can suffer from conventional radiation spilling over into the heart and lungs.

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Remembering the world’s cancer victims and survivors

By | Cancer, Culture of Care, Dowell Springs, Market, Patient Experience, Proton Ambassadors, Proton Therapy, Tennessee, Uncategorized | No Comments

This is an edited version of a message Provision Center for Proton Therapy President Tom Welch sent to our patient Ambassadors, those who have come to Provision for treatment and help to spread the word about proton therapy, in recognition of World Cancer Day.

Today is World Cancer Day. People across the world will be remembering loved ones, supporting friends and family who have been diagnosed with cancer, and celebrating those who are now cancer free. At Provision Proton Therapy Center, we recognize the significance of this day and wanted to share in the celebration. Read More

East Tennessee plays role in atoms for war, for peace

By | Cancer, East Tennessee, Innovation, Knoxville, Niek Schreuder, Physicist, Proton Therapy, research, Technology, Uncategorized | No Comments

Back when the country’s great minds of science were cloistered in secret laboratories, manipulating the power of atoms into a weapon that would stop the world’s second great war, they were also dreaming of a time when such knowledge would be used for peace.

That work, carried on a few ridges and valleys away from Provision Center for Proton Therapy, now touches the lives of each patient who comes here for cancer treatment. Read More