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New Cancer Center in Bullhead City, AZ

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in News & Events, Uncategorized

Southwest Oncology Centers is proud to announce the addition of a new specialty cancer treatment center in Bullhead City/Fort Mohave. This is the team’s fourth Arizona location, building upon the longstanding success of centers in Scottsdale, Glendale, and Yuma. Led by Medical Director Gordon L. Grado, the center will feature a team of experienced specialists, Dr. Valerie Israel (Medical Oncology) and Dr. Robert C. O’Laughlin (Radiation Oncology). Both are thrilled to meet the needs of the tri-state community and together they bring a combined 70 years of advanced medical practice to the region. In addition, our existing team of Arizona specialists will host specialty clinics for head & neck, lung, prostate, breast, and skin cancers.

The center features a state of the art Tomotherapy machine for external beam radiation treatment, Xoft brachytherapy for skin and intra-operative breast treatments, and a full-service PET/CT machine featuring FDG PET scans, F-18 bone scans, diagnostic CT scans, and Axumin, the new breakthrough isotope for identifying suspected prostate cancer recurrence in men.

Treatments are scheduled to begin next month, but patients can schedule a consultation for the coming weeks. Please visit our office at 2755 Silver Creek Rd. #115 next to the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center or call (928) 514-2222 to schedule today.

Southwest Oncology Centers is Hiring!

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in Uncategorized


Our Scottsdale location is looking for talent in the following job areas:

  • RN
  • Front Desk receptionists
  • Radiation billing
  • Medical Oncology billing
  • Medical records management

Our Yuma location is looking for talent in the following job area:

  • Medical Oncology RN

Benefits include:

  • Full medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • PTO benefits after 90 days
  • 401k eligibility with automatic 3% employer contribution after 1 year

We are looking for team-oriented, dedicated individuals with a passion for making a difference to our patients.


For Scottsdale, call today and ask for Patrick:  (480) 300-3100, or email:

For Yuma RN inquiries, call today and ask for Gaby: (928) 580-6007

Cancer Center in Aguascalientes

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in News & Events

Aguascalientes, Mexico (August 9 2008) – Southwest Oncology Centers is proud to announce the inauguration of the Louis and Lucille Grado Cancer Center in Aguascalientes, Mexico. This center is truly one of the most advanced cancer centers in the country, and it’s part of the renowned group of clinics headed by Dr. Gordon Grado, which include Southwest Oncology Centers, Yuma Oncology Centers, and the Grado Centers for Excellence. More than 150 guests attended the inauguration that was joined by medical, civil, and political leaders of the state of Aguascalientes and neighboring cities.

The inauguration of this center marks a new era for cancer care in Mexico, since this is the only center in the country that is led by a group of US and US trained medical staff and other cooperating multidisciplinary team of doctors, oncology nurses, medical physicists and radiation therapists, who are knowledgeable of the latest types of treatment available for cancer patients.

This is also the only oncology center in the state featuring a linear accelerator. The linear accelerator is equipped with 360° 3D Conformal Therapy and MLC (Multi-Leaf Collimator). The sophisticated computer hardware and software capabilities enable the therapeutic range of high-dose radiation to be further focused on tumors, reducing the dosage on vital organs around the tumors to enhance tumor control and limit side effects, which in turn further improves medical quality and patient survival rate.



Doctor Grado is a firm believer that technology is important, but that the human resources and the right types of treatments are more. That is why the radiation oncologist who will provide care in the center devoted a year of training at SWOC under the direct supervision and support of Dr. Grado.

The idea of building a cancer center in Mexico has being a long time dream of Doctor Grado who is concerned about the care of the Mexican population and wants to provide hope for those who needed the most.

Studies Support Growing Use of the Accuray TomoTherapy® System for Breast Cancer to Improve Tumor Control with Reduced Toxicities

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in News & Events

SUNNYVALE, Calif., September 18, 2014 – Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY) announced today that studies presented at the 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting in San Francisco, September 14–17, 2014 continue to reinforce broad-based healthcare professional support of the clinical and quality of life benefits the CyberKnife® and TomoTherapy® Systems deliver. A variety of indications including breast, prostate, lung, brain, and head and neck cancers were featured at the meeting, further positioning Accuray as a leader in precise, innovative tumor treatments.

ASTRO 2014 TomoTherapy clinical presentations focused on treatment of breast, brain, and head and neck cancers, and showed the system’s versatility, efficiency and effectiveness as a treatment for routine or more complex cases. Further information on this system is available at

  • A notable study [i] highlighted results from an interim report of an ongoing IRB-approved phase 2 study on accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI). With a median follow-up of 24 months, data supports the use of TomoTherapy for APBI based on its ability to provide patients with decreased mean radiation dose to the heart (0.6 Gy) while providing meaningful local tumor control.
  • A study [ii] on the use of helical radiation therapy to deliver a simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) during breast cancer treatment concluded, “Helical TomoTherapy is capable of delivering homogeneous treatment plans to the whole breast and lumpectomy cavity using SIB with acceptable acute toxicity.” At three and six month follow-ups, patients had minimal residual erythema with all patients either having grade 0 or grade I symptoms, and there were no grade 2 or grade 3 toxicities reported at any endpoint.
  • A third study [iii] showed a four-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) protocol using TomoHelical delivery mode provided excellent tumor control of brain metastases with minimal toxicity, even in patients with multiple tumors or those with large gross tumor volumes.
  • An additional study [iv] showcased results of a Pareto optimality algorithm developed to identify optimal plans across 40 head and neck cases with lower-neck tumors; each case was randomly assigned and planned with the TomoTherapy System, conventional fixed gantry IMRT, and RapidArc®. The study found that more than half of the Pareto optimal plans were generated for the TomoTherapy System, with conventional delivery systems dividing the rest, reinforcing the precise, efficient treatment planning capabilities of the TomoTherapy System.

ASTRO 2014 CyberKnife presentations focused on a range of indications including lung, brain, and prostate cancer and highlighted the benefits of a system that automatically tracks the tumor and adjusts the beam, maximizing the dose delivered to the tumor and minimizing side effects.

Further information on this system is available at

  • One [v] study of patients with stage 1 non-small-cell lung cancer found that even those with comorbidities, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, experienced excellent rates of disease control including regional failure free survival, distant metastasis free survival and overall survival, with very little toxicity.
  • Another study [vi] evaluated fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (F-SRS) versus single-fraction radiosurgery (S-SRS) for the treatment of brain metastases. Use of F-SRS resulted in similar local tumor control and safety profile despite a patient population consisting of larger tumors and worse prognostic factors, indicating that treatment with F-SRS may enable clinicians to expand their patient population.
  • Several presentations of CyberKnife SBRT continue to validate this precise, innovative approach to the treatment of prostate cancer. Two retrospective analyses [vii] reinforce the use of CyberKnife for the treatment of prostate cancer. One study found patients with low to intermediate-risk prostate cancer experienced a high rate of biochemical progression free survival with acceptable toxicity and PSA levels that often continued to decline beyond two years post-treatment.

Another showed use of SBRT as salvage therapy following the recurrence of prostate cancer provides similar efficacy and toxicity to low and high dose rate interstitial brachytherapy, with the significant advantage of being a non-invasive treatment.

Abstracts can be found on the website of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics:

“We’re excited to see data show the TomoTherapy System provides significant clinical benefits for breast cancer patients and long-term data continue to support the use of the CyberKnife System as a treatment for prostate cancer,” said Joshua H. Levine, president and chief executive officer of Accuray. “In addition, we’re encouraged by customer feedback on the new platforms indicating these systems can increase throughput and broaden clinical utility, enabling more patients to receive precisely targeted radiation treatments.”

About the CyberKnife® and TomoTherapy® Systems

The Accuray CyberKnife M6™ Series and TomoTherapy H™ Series treatment solutions cover the entire spectrum of radiation therapy needs. The CyberKnife M6 Series enables precise, high quality, dose distributions to be confidently delivered to the patient with extreme accuracy over a minimum number of treatments, reducing side effects and preserving patients’ quality of life. The CyberKnife System is the only robotic full-body radiosurgery system available today. The TomoTherapy H Series efficiently enables physicians to customize treatment plans for the entire range of radiation therapy patients and disease types. Its innovative design enables treatment plans to be delivered with integrated, daily CT image guidance, enhancing accuracy and delivering highly precise, intensity-modulated radiation for optimal sparing of healthy tissue and critical structures.

About Accuray

Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY) is a radiation oncology company that develops, manufactures and sells precise, innovative tumor treatment solutions that set the standard of care with the aim of helping patients live longer, better lives. The company’s leading-edge technologies deliver the full range of radiation therapy and radiosurgery treatments. For more information, please visit

Safe Harbor Statement

Statements made in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release relate, but are not limited, to clinical experience, clinical applications, clinical results, patient outcomes, and Accuray’s leadership position in radiation oncology innovation and technologies. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, including but not limited to the risks detailed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the company’s report on Form 10-K, filed on August 29, 2014, and the company’s other filings with the SEC.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made and are based on information available to the company at the time those statements are made and/or management’s good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events. The company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual performance or results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws. Accordingly, investors should not put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.


[i] de Paula, U. et al., Full Local Control With Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) by Tomotherapy After Breast-Conservative Surgery for Patients Suitable, or Not, According to ASTR0-2009 Consensus Statement: Interim Report After 2 Years Follow-Up. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14–17, 2014.

[ii] Wojcieszynski, A. et al., Toxicity From Breast Cancer Treatment Using Helical Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy With an Incorporated Boost. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14–17, 2014.

[iii] Nagai, A. et al., Hypofractionated Stereotactic Radiation Therapy Using Helical Tomotherapy for Single or Multiple Brain Metastases. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14–17, 2014.

[iv] Ruan, D. et al., A Pareto Optimality Test Scheme and its Utilization to Assess Systematic Variation of Plan Quality Across Treatment Modalities. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14–17, 2014.

[v] Samuelian, J.M., Curative Treatment of Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Using Robotic Stereotactic Radiation in Patients With COPD: A VA Population Study. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14–17, 2014.

[vi] Savir, G. et al., Comparison of Fractionated Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Single Fraction Stereotactic Radiosurgery for the Treatment of Brain Metastases. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14–17, 2014.

[vii] Lloyd, S. et al., Robotic Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Prostate Adenocarcinoma. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14 – 17, 2014. Fuller, D.B. et al., HDR-Like SBRT for Post-Radiation Therapy Locally Recurrent Prostatic Carcinoma: PSA Response, DFS, and Toxicity Assessment. 56th Annual American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Meeting, San Francisco, California, September 14–17, 2014.

Ten Key Points about External Radiation Therapy

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in Blog

  • Radiation is a local, targeted therapy designed to kill cancer cells that may still exist after surgery. Radiation is given to the area where the cancer started or to another part of the body to which the cancer spread.
  • The actual delivery of radiation treatment is painless. But the radiation itself may cause some discomfort over time.
  • External radiation treatment, the most common kind of radiation therapy, does not make you radioactive.
  • Treatment is usually given 5 days a week for up to 7 weeks. Sometimes radiation may be given twice a day for 1 week.
  • Since the daily appointments usually take about 30 minutes, you’ll most likely be able to follow most of your normal routine during treatment.
  • Radiation will not make you lose your hair, unless radiation is given to your head.
  • In the area where you are receiving radiation, your skin can turn pink, red, or tan, and may be sensitive and irritated. Creams and other medicines can soothe these symptoms.
  • During your treatment course, you may feel tired. This feeling can last for a few weeks—even months—after treatment ends.
  • Most radiation side effects are temporary.
  • Radiation therapy can significantly decrease the risk of cancer returning after surgery.

How Radiation Works

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in Blog

Radiation therapy uses a special kind of high-energy beam to damage cancer cells. (Other types of energy beams include light and X-rays.) These high-energy beams, which are invisible to the human eye, damage a cell’s DNA, the material that cells use to divide.

Over time, the radiation damages cells that are in the path of its beam—normal cells as well as cancer cells. But radiation affects cancer cells more than normal cells. Cancer cells are very busy growing and multiplying—2 activities that can be slowed or stopped by radiation damage. And because cancer cells are less organized than healthy cells, it’s harder for them to repair the damage done by radiation. So cancer cells are more easily destroyed by radiation, while healthy, normal cells are better able to repair themselves and survive the treatment.

There are two different ways to deliver radiation to the tissues to be treated:

  • A machine called a linear accelerator that delivers radiation from outside the body. We use a very advanced linear accelerator called Tomotherapy, and you can learn more about this linear accelerator and its benefits in our web page.
  • Pellets, or seeds, of material that give off radiation beams from inside the body. Dr. Grado is considered a pioneer in the use of this type of radiation for prostate cancer and has performed more than 6000 surgeries with excellent clinical results.

Tissues to be treated might include the breast area, lymph nodes, or another part of the body such as the prostate.

Some people may fear radiation therapy. They may worry that therapeutic radiation may be dangerous like an atomic bomb or nuclear power plant. Stories about radiation side effects, some of them exaggerated, can circulate around hospital waiting rooms. It’s important for you to know that there is NO connection between therapeutic radiation and the types of radiation in bombs and nuclear reactors. The radiation used in cancer treatment is highly focused, controllable, and generally safe.

Why Radiation is Necessary

Radiation is an important and often necessary form of anti-cancer therapy because it is able to reduce the risk of recurrence after surgery. Although it’s quite possible that your surgeon removed all the cancer, breast cancer surgery cannot guarantee that every cancer cell has been removed from your body.

Individual cancer cells are too small to be felt or seen during surgery or detected by testing. Any cells that remain after surgery can grow and eventually form a new lump or show up as an abnormality on a test such as a mammogram.

Research has shown that people who are treated with radiation after lumpectomy are more likely to live longer, and remain cancer-free longer, than those who don’t get radiation. In one large study, women who didn’t get radiation after lumpectomy were shown to have a 60% greater risk of the cancer coming back in the same breast. Other research has shown that even women with very small cancers (1 centimeter or smaller) benefit from radiation after lumpectomy.

Making a Plan after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in Blog

Knowledge is power. The first step in making your plan is to ask questions—a lot of them. As you gather information, we will work with you and your loved ones to make a plan. Many things may be on your mind after you learn you have prostate cancer. You may also feel anxious or overwhelmed and wonder how you can cope during the days ahead. In addition to dealing with the diagnosis of cancer, you will learn a new language: that of prostate cancer and prostate cancer treatment.

Get the Facts about Your Cancer Diagnosis

Try to obtain as much basic, useful information as possible about your diagnosis. Consider bringing a family member or friend with you to your first few appointments. They can take notes and keep the new information organized.

  • Learn about the stage, grade, and risk category of your disease.
  • Ask about genetic tests that can predict aggressive or slow-growing prostate cancer.
  • Find a doctor that makes you feel comfortable, answers your questions, and gives you confidence in treating your prostate cancer.
  • Complete additional testing to determine if the cancer has spread and if so, how far. At Southwest Oncology Centers, we will help you understand.
  • Find out about available clinical trials.
  • Learn what side effects can be caused by each treatment offered and consider how they can affect your lifestyle.

Be Good to Yourself

  • You are in control; a cancer diagnosis is only part of what defines you.
  • Take time to think about what you want from your life.
  • Connect with friends and family.
  • Practice healthy eating habits by increasing fruits and vegetables and limit fats and alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get active—research has shown that exercise reduces death in male cancer survivors

We are glad to help you answer this and other questions you may have. Please give us a call at 480-614-6300 so you can talk to one of our physicians about your plan and treatment.

What is Your Prostate?

Written by Southwest Oncology Centers on . Posted in Blog

Male Reproductive System

The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland in the male reproductive system that is located beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the upper part of the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder.

The size of the prostate varies with age. As a man ages, the prostate can grow larger.

The prostate has several important functions:

  • Helps control urine flow, semen, and seminal fluid
  • Essential for erections
  • Produces seminal fluid to carry and nourish sperm
  • Contains nerves needed to achieve an erection
  • Provides the push sperm need to swim their way out of the penis
  • Produces prostate specific antigen

The prostate is divided into lobes and zones. There are four lobes: anterior, median, lateral, and posterior. There are three zones: peripheral, central, and transitional. These terms refer to specific areas of the prostate to help the physician know where the cancer is located in the prostate.

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a substance produced by the prostate gland. It keeps semen in liquid form so sperm can swim. It is present in the bloodstream, and the level is a valuable piece of information in understanding a man’s prostate cancer risk, along with the digital rectal exam and other tests.

The level of PSA in a man’s blood can be a marker of many different prostate conditions, not only prostate cancer. The most frequent benign (non-cancerous) conditions that cause an elevation in PSA are the following:

  • Prostatitis – inflammation of the prostate
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP) – enlargement of the prostate

Southwest Oncology Centers

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