Archive For "June, 2012"

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Join FSRO at North Sebastian County’s Relay for Life

Please join Team Fort Smith Radiation Oncology this Friday night, June 15th for the North Sebastian County’s Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society.  Using the theme “Surfing for a Cure”, Team FSRO will be selling popsicles, Hawaiian cake, and watermelon slices along with providing three kid games at their booth.

Fort Smith Radiation Oncology and Dr. Kris Gast are also sponsors of the Survivor Goody Bags.  Each survivor who checks in at the Survivor Tent will receive a purple survivor t-shirt from ACS along with a goody bag with $6 Survivor Bucks that can be spent at any team tent that night.

The event starts at 6pm on the campus green of the University of Arkansas Fort Smith.  The survivor lap is at 8pm and the luminaria ceremony will begin at 9:30pm.  Team FSRO looks forward to seeing a big crowd there!!

Posted In: Community Involvement, Relay for Life
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Rotating Doctors: No One’s In It For The Long Haul- June SWTR article

Radiation Oncologist at Fort Smith Radiation Oncology

Q. I have had breast cancer for nearly 10 years and in that time I have been through three oncologists. I feel like I am running my doctors off. Is there some way to ensure that I have the same doctor for the duration of my cancer care?

A. Well, I am sure you are not running the doctors off. Most patients do not understand the nuisances of the medical field and how that pertains to them in their daily lives. Let’s go over the basics and then review strategies to help you pick doctors who may be more committed to a long-term relationship.

Doctors nowadays are either employees or independent physicians.

That leads to the question: “What’s the difference, and how could that matter to me?”

Well, the “employed” doctor works for a hospital and gets a paycheck; some even have a certain number of days or hours they are required to work. They are required to follow the rules and regulations set up by the corporation that runs or manages the hospital.

The employed doctor may move easily from hospital to hospital, city to city, state to state because they are employed and have no financial investment in the hospital itself. Much like today’s overall population, these doctors tend to be more mobile and move much more frequently.

Independent doctors, on the other hand, have taken on a practice that includes the medical side and the business side. These doctors are owners of their practices and usually make less money but have more autonomy or the ability to make their own decisions.

Independent doctors also have invested in the community in which they practice, which means they tend to stay in one place for many years, if not decades. They work harder because they have to run the practice from both the medical side and make decisions from the business side.

Independent doctors only work for their patients, not a corporation.

Now, looking at these two types of physicians, you can see how the independent doctors would be more inclined to stay in your community longer. They have made an investment in their practice and usually these doctors tend to be supportive of the community in which they live and raise their families.

Logistically it is nearly impossible to just pick up and move a practice, all the staff and equipment, not to mention the building, to a new city.

The employed doctor may be a little more likely to rotate out of the community, because all the employed doctor has to do is find a new job in a different hospital system.

It really is just the nature of the beast.

In the future, when you interview your prospective doctors, you might include a question or two on who they work for — you or the corporation — and how long they plan to stay around.

After all, your doctor should work for you, and you should make sure you are happy with him or her, for the long haul.

Dr. Kris Gast is a board certified radiation oncologist. She has been in practice for 21 years, the last 13 at Fort Smith Radiation Oncology in Fort Smith. Her column Cancer Demystified runs the first Wednesday of every month in the Times Record. Send questions to

Posted In: Cancer Demystified by Dr. Kris Gast
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Dr. Kris Gast Guest Speaks at National Cancer Survivor’s Day

The Phoenix Expo was filled with cancer survivors and their friends and family all to celebrate National Cancer Survivor’s Day on Saturday, June 2, 2012.  Each survivor received a beautiful purple petunia plant compliments of Fort Smith Radiation Oncology.  Jennifer Stuart, FSRO massage therapist and Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House volunteer provided complimentary chair massages to the attendees and members of the FSRO staff handed out the office’s new brochures and candy to the public.

At 2pm, Dr. Kris Gast took stage to present her History of Cancer skit.  Several children of the FSRO office staff were dressed up in costumes from different periods of time to go along with Dr. Gast’s story.

At 3pm, survivor recognition began.  All survivors went to the stage to be recognized for their number of years since their diagnosis.  The longest survivor has been cancer free for 53 years!

Thank you to the Donald W Reynolds Cancer Support House for hosting this awesome event to celebrate cancer survivorship! FSRO is a very proud sponsor!


Posted In: Community Involvement, History of Cancer Presentations
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