By Sasha P. RinconDr. Farzaneh Farzin is a radiation oncologist with Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada specializing in multidisciplinary management of breast cancer, intensity modulated radiation therapy and stereotactic radiosurgery. She is also an adjunct clinical faculty at Touro University Nevada where she actively participates in the education and training of medical students who are performing radiation oncology rotations. Dr. Farzin says getting to know her patients, hearing their stories, seeing their strength and witnessing their determination to beat cancer are the elements she enjoys most about her career.
“I strongly believe in taking the time to talk to my patients before scheduling their treatments so we can discuss questions or concerns. Facing cancer is challenging. By listening to how they are feeling at that moment, I am better equipped to help them cope during treatments,” she said.
Dr. Farzin says even as a young girl, she wanted to help people. “I realized that physicians help people every day, so I set my sights on medicine,” she said.
During her studies, she discovered an interest in cancer medicine and saw a need for more radiation oncologists, leading her to choose it as her specialty. “Now, I (get to) help people fight and beat cancer every day,” she said.
There are many new technological advancements in the medical and radiation oncology fields including the only CyberKnife Stereotactic Radiosurgery machine in Southern Nevada available at CCCN. CyberKnife uses computer-operated robotics and image-guided technology to treat hard-to-reach tumors without damaging normal, healthy surrounding tissue. When talking about hard-to-reach tumors, doctors often refer to masses that are too close to vital organs for traditional surgery, making the use of CyberKnife of significant benefit to the community.
Also, radiation technology is now less toxic and more tolerable for patients. The development of Radium 223, a cancer drug in the form of liquid radiation, is less painful and more effective in treating metastatic/advanced prostate cancer. Radium 223 was a clinical trial at CCCN that was approved by the FDA in May.
Dr. Farzin advises everyone to schedule regular checkups and to tell their doctors about anything unusual—bumps, lumps, discoloration of the skin, pains or other items that are not normal.
“Being diagnosed early gives you a much better chance at a cure,” said Dr. Farzin, “It’s very important to do preventative screening tests like chest X-rays, colonoscopies and mammograms for women. And don’t ignore the importance of exercise, a healthy diet and plenty of sleep.”
Dr. Farzin encourages people to participate in community events and organizations that provide assistance to adults and children fighting cancer. The ORION Cancer Foundation provides financial assistance to cancer patients in Nevada who struggle to afford the essentials of daily living. Other organizations are always seeking volunteers including Susan G. Komen of Southern Nevada, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada and the American Cancer Society.
Outside of work, Dr. Farzin enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, as well as hiking, music, cooking, traveling and shopping.
Medical Specialty: Radiation Oncology