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February 21, 2006 > Radiation Oncology Center Puts Patients First

Radiation Oncology Center Puts Patients First

State-of-the-art Facility Offers Top Notch Care

What are the most important elements of your medical care? Is it state-of-the-art facilities? Quality treatment that is close to home? Medical professionals that take the time to answer your questions? All of these pieces come together to form the principles that Washington Radiation Oncology Center stands by.

Being diagnosed with cancer can overwhelm both patients and family members - treatment can be lengthy, and there's a lot to understand. That's why, in addition to providing the highest quality treatment, staff members at the Washington Radiation Oncology Center (ROC) focus first on the patient as a person.

Making the connection
Making a connection with each patient is a vital part of treatment, says Medical Director Ranu Bahl, M.D., who has been practicing radiation oncology in the Bay Area for 16 years.

"I've been doing this for so long, and I've learned that a good relationship between patients and radiation oncology staff members makes a tremendous difference to patients who have been diagnosed with cancer," Dr. Bahl explains. "Patients need people who are going to support them, answer their questions and respond to their needs."

The center's entire staff is dedicated to making sure each patient feels comfortable with their treatment, according to the center's chief administrator, Ed Lee.

"We want to make the patient's experience as pleasant as possible," Lee says. "At the end of treatment, we want patients to leave (the facility) thinking that their physicians were informative and free with their time and that staff went out of their way to make sure everything was as smooth as it could be."

Less travel for quality care

In addition to compassionate care, easy access and convenience also serve as important elements of putting the patient first.

"The less the patient has to drive, the easier it is for them," Dr. Bahl says. "It can take a toll even for the family member who must drive to daily treatments for six weeks and fight the traffic when each treatment only takes 5 to 10 minutes."

When patients are diagnosed with cancer, as many as half will require radiation therapy like that provided at the Center, according to Dr. Bahl.

"Radiation therapy is a very targeted form of therapy," and, unlike chemotherapy, is capable of attacking a specific area affected by cancer while reducing doses to nearby critical normal tissues, Dr. Bahl notes.

A team approach
Dr. Bahl will be joined at the Center by David N. Lowther, M.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist who was honored as one of Silicon Valley's top doctors by San Jose Magazine in February 2005.

"What I've found most striking is how responsive my patients are to the personalized attention that they can only, realistically, receive in the community hospital setting," Dr. Lowther says. "I take great pride in being able to bring my skill with the latest technology and knowledge of recent cancer research to every person in the area."

In addition to working closely with patients, Dr. Bahl, Dr. Lowther, and the staff are committed to working with patients' physicians in the community to determine the most effective treatment possible.

"We all work closely together to provide the best of care," Dr. Bahl says. "We want patients to know that we will discuss their care with a team of doctors."

According to Lee, this commitment to the community and local physicians on the part of Dr. Bahl and staff members has been at the core of building a successful practice.

State-of-the-art facility, leading edge treatment
The state-of-the-art facility is staffed by highly experienced board certified radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and physicists who all take part in creating and implementing a specific and unique treatment plan for each patient using the latest leading-edge technology.

Treatment options available at the center include both 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). IMRT is the most advanced form of conformal therapy available for radiotherapy treatments, allowing for the delivery of higher does of radiation to complex target areas, while reducing doses to nearby critical normal tissues.

The center celebrated its 20th anniversary of providing radiation oncology treatment to cancer patients in 2004.

Patients may be referred to the center by a physician, usually their surgeon or medical oncologist, and the center accepts most major insurance plans. Located across the street from Washington Hospital, the center is adjacent to the Fremont BART station and has convenient patient parking.

To learn more about the Washington Radiation Oncology Center, call (510) 796-7212 or visit, click on "Services & Programs," select "Community Cancer Program" and scroll to "Washington Radiation Oncology Center (ROC)."

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