Real Doctors Helping Real People

How radiation oncologist, Dr. Edwin Watts, and CHRISTUS Spohn’s advanced cancer technologies are reshaping lives

By: Jessica Dusek

Corpus Christi welcomes radiation oncologist, Dr. Edwin Watts, with open arms. Utilizing non-invasive and state-of-the-art technologies, CHRISTUS Spohn’s cancer treatment technologies advance Watts and his team to the forefront of cancer treatment options for the Coastal Bend.

“I’m more ambitious to be on the cutting edge,” explains Watts of his passion to apply advanced technologies to serve his patients’ needs. “I see a lot of tears; (patients) are not ready to throw in the towel.” Expressing concern for his patients, “I tell them, ‘I think we can do some good and give you some quality time.’”

The University of Oklahoma graduate received his doctoral degree from the Oklahoma Health and Sciences Center. He later completed his internship at Queens Medical Center at the University of Hawaii. Watts brings his talent for precision and passion to isolate cancer cells with less-invasive treatments, including stereotactic radiosurgery via Cyberknife, and treatments delivered utilizing Tomotherapy.

“Cancer is supposed to overtake heart disease in the country,” Watts explains of the rapidly growing statistic. So what can we do about it for our loved ones facing life’s most altering challenges? Become educated. Research our options.

“The easier it is to educate everyone, the better it is for anyone who may need those services,” he says. Specifically, patients or loved ones seeking knowledge on cancer-treatment technologies that help improve their case. Whether a patient is dealing with cancer of the liver, prostate or other organs, “each site comes with its own set of challenges,” Watts explains. “Having that kind of (pin-point) precision has less disruption in their lifestyle.”

As a specialist in radiation oncology, Watts’ expertise resides on the radiation side of cancer treatment. “We treat every disease; there is no sub-way to categorize it down,” he explains, having cared for patients with many different kinds of cancer diagnoses. Specifically, his focus remains in more complex sites of the body, including the care and treatment of gastro-intestinal tumors and gynecologic cancers. More importantly for Watts and his staff, they find it is essential that the Coastal Bend residents know about the options available at their facility.

“We can carve out radiation around the heart in breast cancer patients,” he explains. For patients dealing with this life-altering cancer, it’s important to decrease the exposure of radiation to the heart during treatments. “There is a direct correlation of women getting heart attacks, having had radiation,” he explains of former case studies.

Decreasing the exposure of radiation to major organs is essential to prevent weakening of these organs down the road. Today, hospitals such as CHRISTUS Spohn can offer this specialized care to their patients. “You can’t really spare the (heart and organs) unless you have the right technologies – and we have that here at Spohn.”

Did you know?
State-of-the-art cancer treatments available locally at CHRISTUS Spohn include:

• CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery: a treatment option with no incisions, reducing pain and improving patient recovery time. “It’s so precise and pinpoint,” Watts explains. “We can use ablative doses, and it can be only in a single treatment.”

• Tomotherapy: modality with the ability to sculpt powerful radiation, and isolate targeted areas containing the tumor or cancer areas

• External Beam Radiation: high-energy radiation beams delivered to the tumor target via a linear accelerator

CHRISTUS Spohn Cancer Center – Shoreline
1415 Santa Fe St.
Corpus Christi, Texas 78404

To learn more about Dr. Edwin Watts at CHRISTUS Spohn, please visit www.christushealth.org, call 361-737-0600 or email walter.watts@christushealth.org.