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Radiation Oncology Advancements for an Aging Population: Transforming Healthcare in Scottsdale

Written by: Lauren Strait

Last week on “Health Futures – Taking Stock in You,” the radio show and podcast where we decode the latest trends in healthcare and wellness, we had the pleasure of talking with guest Steven Sckolnik, MD, radiation oncologist at Arizona Center for Cancer Care on the show. Get ready to gain fresh insights, explore cutting-edge ideas, and envision the future of health and wellness like never before.

Here is the full episode: https://youtu.be/3azegup9HqA

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/health-futures-with-host-bob-roth/id1703861486

Dr. Steven Skolnick is a radiation oncologist at the Arizona Center for Cancer Care, based in Scottsdale. He has been dedicated to providing cutting-edge cancer care for almost eight years, serving patients across the Phoenix and Valley area. Dr. Skolnick’s practice is closely affiliated with Honor Health, a prominent hospital system in the region.

A Dynamic Healthcare Landscape

During the conversation, Dr. Skolnick and Bob Roth acknowledge the dynamic nature of the healthcare field. Dr. Skolnick points out that the past few years have seen remarkable changes, both nationally and specifically in Phoenix. He emphasizes that these changes affect all patient populations, particularly seniors. One overarching theme emerges: the healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, and it’s an exciting time to be a healthcare provider, an oncologist, and a patient.

Progress in Cancer Care

Dr. Skolnick highlights the positive transformations in cancer care. He discusses how advancements in treatments have led to better outcomes for patients. These improvements include fewer side effects, increased longevity, and enhanced overall well-being. Cancer care is evolving rapidly, offering hope and improved quality of life for patients and their families.

The “Invisible Knife” of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Skolnick introduces the concept of radiation oncology as the “invisible knife.” He explains how radiation therapy, a non-invasive but highly effective treatment, has evolved. For instance, he mentions the significant reduction in treatment duration, with some patients now receiving their treatment in just five sessions instead of the traditional nine to ten weeks. This progress has led to improved patient experiences and outcomes.

Innovations in Cancer Treatment

The conversation shifts to the exciting innovations occurring in cancer treatment. Dr. Skolnick shares a remarkable example involving brain tumor patients. He describes a clinical trial where radioactive seeds or particles are implanted in the brain during surgery, delivering focused radiation to prevent cancer recurrence. This innovative approach has transformed the treatment timeline and outcomes for patients, reducing the waiting period between surgery and radiation therapy.

The Role of Home Healthcare

Bob Roth and Dr. Skolnick discuss the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare. They reflect on the delays in diagnosis and treatment that occurred as a result of the pandemic. Patients with symptoms often postponed seeking medical attention due to fear or logistical challenges, leading to more advanced and aggressive diseases.

The Advantages of Telehealth

The conversation touches on the role of telehealth in modern healthcare. Dr. Skolnick acknowledges the benefits of virtual care, which has improved access for some patients. However, he also highlights the limitations of virtual visits, especially for physical examinations. They agree that telehealth is here to stay but emphasize the need for equitable access to this technology, particularly for seniors.

Patient Advocacy and Preparedness

Dr. Skolnick and Bob Roth discuss the importance of patient advocacy and preparedness. Patients are encouraged to take an active role in their healthcare by being proactive, obtaining their medical records, and staying informed about their conditions and treatments. This proactive approach can lead to more effective communication with healthcare providers and better care outcomes.

The conversation between Dr. Steven Skolnick and Bob Roth sheds light on the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, emphasizing the importance of innovation, patient advocacy, and collaboration among healthcare providers. As healthcare professionals in Scottsdale and beyond continue to adapt to new challenges and opportunities, the focus remains on improving patient care and enhancing overall well-being. If you have questions or need assistance maintaining your independence, contact Cypress HomeCare today.

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Call (602) 264-8009 or contact us to learn more about home care services.

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