Radiation Therapy Machine

An Energetic Approach to Cancer Care

Dr. Ryan Abel

Dr. Ryan Abel
Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy is much more accurate now than in years past, and the radiation can be more precisely controlled, Dr. Ryan Abel, a radiation oncologist, said.

A widely used approach that relies on accuracy and precision is stereotactic radiation, which uses multiple radiation beams simultaneously.

“The idea is that you are delivering radiation to the tumor with very minimal surrounding tissue radiation,” Dr. Abel said. “This allows us to give a lethal dose to whatever is being targeted, while sparing the normal cells around it.”

One of the most important tools at the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center is also one of the newest. The TrueBeamTM linear accelerator, made by Varian Medical Systems, came to the center in late 2017. The TrueBeam is capable of controlling accuracy to within a fraction of a millimeter, the size of a pencil lead.

"It is very tightly confined, so they don't even have symptoms," Dr. Abel said. "Most of the time when patients get stereotactic radiation, they don't even know we're doing it. They come in... and then they can continue on with their normal life."

Dr. Abel added that his work relies heavily on supporting medical specialists.

“For accurate staging, diagnosis and treatment, it helps to know what you’re dealing with. I can’t do that on my own. I rely on pulmonologists and diagnostic radiologists to help me know where the cancer is located,” Dr. Abel said.

Fellow specialists are key players at other stages of treatment as well.

“The pulmonologists also help take care of patients after treatment. Surgeons help with removing tumors. Without medical oncologists, our cure rates are decreased because chemotherapy and systemic therapies are essential to improve overall outcomes.”

That ability to collaborate is helping improve survival rates.

“We’re seeing Stage IV lung cancer patients living years, when before the prognosis wasn’t as good,” Dr. Abel said.

That’s happening here, and it’s a reflection of the excellence in care being offered at the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

“Patients can still live here, get radiation and receive the chemotherapy they need,”

Contact Us

Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center - 270-688-3600 or toll-free at 800-947-7102

Radiation Oncology - 270-688-3600

Hematology & Oncology - 270-688-3445

Oncology Patient Navigators - 270-688-3691 or 270-688-1946 or 270-688-3657

Outpatient Infusion - 270-688-3630

Medical Oncology (Inpatient) - 270-417-2800

Cancer Screening - 270-417-7641

Lung Cancer Screening Program - 270-417-7641

Clinical Trials - 270-688-1938

Oncology Education - 270-688-3619

Director of Cancer Services - 270-688-3640

Cancer Registry - 270-688-3636

You Can

Joan Hayden and her husband

Cancer often doesn’t show symptoms in its initial stages. That’s why you may benefit from screenings that help detect the disease early—when treatment works best.

Schedule your screening by calling 877-888-6647 (toll-free).

Get Cancer Care at Owensboro Health.