Botsford Hospital
28050 Grand River Ave.
Farmington Hills, MI 48336-5919
(248) 471-8000
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Spring 2012

Botsford HealthSource Magazine


Targeting Tumors: Botsford Cancer Center Gives Patient-Centered Care

Home to a team of nationally known oncologists and state-of-the-art cancer care options, Botsford Cancer Center is one of the top choices for cancer treatment in the Metro Detroit area.

It’s very hard to put into words the amazing care that goes on here,” says Frank Vicini, M.D., a Botsford board-certified radiation oncologist. “We have everything you need under one roof.”

In fact, many of the therapies available at the center are resulting in shorter recovery times, fewer side effects and better health outcomes.

For example, Botsford Cancer Center is now offering a new service known as stereotactic body radiation therapy, also called radiosurgery. Primarily used to treat early-stage lung cancer, the therapy lets doctors accurately deliver a large amount of radiation over just a handful of days.

“In addition to having fewer side effects and resulting in just as good or better health outcomes as other options, the therapy’s short treatment period can also mean less cost and inconvenience to the patient,” says Larry Kestin, M.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist who specializes in treating lung cancer.

Botsford also offers a high-dose radiation therapy called brachytherapy, which is used to treat breast, prostate, head and neck and gynecological cancers.

The therapy uses a catheter to insert a tiny high-dose radiation source, the size of a grain of rice, directly into the tumor. Unlike low-dose radiation seeds, which are implanted permanently in the body and emit radiation, high-dose brachytherapy lets doctors accurately manipulate the seed to treat the entire tumor. “The treatment can take just minutes and doesn’t leave a patient radioactive,” says Alvaro Martinez, M.D., board certified in therapeutic radiology and radiation oncology.

For cancers in critical areas, such as a breast tumor located over the heart, Botsford Cancer Center offers an advanced therapy in a unique way. The therapy is called intensity-modulated radiation therapy and is used to treat most types of cancers. The unique part is that instead of depending on a patient’s original imaging scan to guide the therapy, doctors take additional scans the day of treatment and generate the most up-to-date image of a patient’s body as possible. “The procedure means doctors can more precisely pinpoint a tumor and accurately avoid critical parts of the body,” Dr. Vicini says.

In the last two years alone, the center has delivered 10,000 radiation therapy treatments. For residents of the Detroit suburbs, it means having advanced cancer care close to home.

“We’ve had a 100 percent patient satisfaction rating in the three years the center’s been open,” Dr. Kestin says. “Our patients aren’t numbers; we consider them family.”

Technology Reduces Treatments

As a CT technologist at Botsford Hospital, Mary Beth Irwin spends her days giving patients diagnostic tests. Last year the roles were reversed. After a routine mammogram, Mary Beth was the one getting additional tests and was diagnosed with breast cancer. But with the support and services of Botsford Cancer Center, her latest mammogram showed she had beaten the often-deadly disease.

Mary Beth’s age, tumor type and tumor location, made her a candidate for a treatment technique known as brachytherapy, an internal radiation therapy that precisely targets the tumor area. First, Mary Beth’s doctors surgically removed the tumor. Then, a small balloon was inserted into the cavity where the tumor had been. The balloon was attached to a thin tube, or catheter, part of which extended outside the breast. During the therapy, radiation was delivered via the catheter directly to the tumor site. The balloon is removed when therapy is completed.

Instead of the conventional regimen of radiation therapy every day for six to eight weeks, Mary Beth went twice a day for only one week. Since only two hospitals in the Metro Detroit area offer this consolidated treatment option, Mary Beth felt fortunate to be treated at Botsford. She experienced no side effects from the therapy and would definitely recommend Botsford Cancer Center to friends and family, she says. “They made it very comfortable and painless,” she says. “The overall experience was a good one.”



Botsford Cancer Center

Breast Center