Dr. O'Connor is Chairman of the Cancer Program at St. John's Regional Medical Center and has been named one of the "Best Doctors in America: Pacific Region". A specialist in Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), Dr. O'Connor is committed to advanced technological treatment and giving compassionate care.
A Ventura County native, Dr. Montes is fluent in Spanish and the recipient of many honors and awards, including the "Celebration of Excellence Award" from The Wellness Community – Valley/Ventura. Dr. Montes provides high-level care to cancer patients and specializes in the most advanced treatments for prostate, breast and skin cancer.
Get plenty of rest during treatment, eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of fluids.
Tell your doctor about any medications or vitamins you are taking to make sure they are safe to use during radiation therapy.
Treat the skin exposed to radiation with care. Clean the area with warm water and mild soap and use lotions or ointments only after checking with your nurse or doctor.
1) What are the side effects?
Skin irritation, vaginal discharge, increased bowel movements, gas, fatigue and urinary changes are common. All of these conditions are treatable.
2) Can I have intercourse?
Sometimes, when you have cancer and are going through treatment for cancer, your sexual drive will decrease. Intercourse may become uncomfortable and these symptoms may be reduced through the use of vaginal lubricants. The effects of radiation therapy on sexual and reproductive functions depend on which organs are treated. Before your treatment begins, ask your doctor about possible side effects and how long they might last.
3) What can I do to prevent the side effects to my skin?
You may not be able to prevent them, but you can treat them. We suggest two products that help: Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Udderly Smooth Cream.
4) Will I still be able to work?
The answer will depend on your treatment plan and whether you are also receiving chemotherapy. As a rule, you can continue working until either the bowel changes or fatigue limits you. Our nurse will meet with you during the first week of your radiation to design your physical and lifestyle approach to your radiation.
5) How will you know the effect the treatments have on my cancer?
At the beginning of your treatments the nurse and doctor will discuss the goals of treatment with you. We understand that the more you know about treatment, the more relaxed you will be. Follow-up tests after your treatment, as well as planned visits with medical and radiation oncologists, will be outlined by your physician.