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 doctor or nurse. We suggest two products that help: Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Udderly Smooth Cream. Keep this area out of the sun and avoid applying hot or cold packs.
1) Will the experiences I’ve heard about from other patients be the
same for me?
Not necessarily. Each breast cancer story is different because of variations in skin, genetics, breast size, and whether you had a mastectomy.
2) Why did this happen to me?
I exercise, don't smoke, and get regular mammograms. No one knows for sure why we get cancer. A strong family history of the disease is certainly a contributing factor. We can connect you with our cancer center, which has an amazing team that includes nutritionists and stress reduction specialists, and our oncology nurse navigator who will help you connect with any community resources available. Having the support to fight your cancer can go a long way in your recovery.
3) How are you going to follow up?
You will receive mammograms, MRIs, and scans according to your medical oncologist's and radiation oncologist’s suggestions.
4) How many treatments will I have?
This will vary with each patient. However, the best way to treat breast cancer with radiation is by administering a small dose each day to allow the regeneration of good cells. (approximately 1-4 weeks)
5) How does nutrition factor in with breast cancer?
You will have access to our cancer center’s nutritionist for free counseling regarding your nutrition and health.