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Get to Know: Dr. Heaton

Our medical director Dr. Diane Heaton was the first physician to perform radiosurgery in Oklahoma. For more than 15 years, she has shared her knowledge and experience treating patients with CyberKnife® technology. She is a member of numerous medical organizations, including the American Society of Radiation Oncology and has received many awards in recognition of her clinical excellence.

Read more about her experiences at Oklahoma CyberKnife below.

What first drew you to radiation oncology?
Even though my undergraduate major was engineering, I knew from my first medical school rotation that I absolutely loved helping patients. To determine what specialties I truly enjoyed I read journals from a variety of fields and timed how long I spent reading each one. I would read radiation oncology journals for twice as long as others without even noticing.

What do you like best about your job?
I love the opportunity to give and receive good news about patients.

Describe one of your most memorable experiences since you began working at Oklahoma CyberKnife.
After only the second day of a former patient’s treatment, the radiation had worked so quickly to relieve her lung cancer that she didn’t need her oxygen and was able to walk without losing her breathe. That was a great example of how different CyberKnife is from other forms of treatment.

What do you feel is the most important thing that Oklahoma CyberKnife offers?
Oklahoma CyberKnife is a facility with extensive experience and high quality equipment. Our doctors have more than 30 years of combined experience using this technology. Our center has treated more than 1,000 patients and that number demonstrates the depth of our physicians’ and staff’s knowledge and experience. We have the ability assist patients whose cases are often too complex for less-experienced centers. Our experience helps us maximize outcomes to obtain the best long-term results for our patients.

How do you stay abreast of the latest medical developments?
I attend meetings and present our own research. I also read journals, participate in clinical trials and tumor boards. Most importantly, I continue to ask every moment how can I do my job better.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.