Radiation Oncologist, Mark Fireman, M.D., with MidMichigan Health, is not only a physician who specializes in cancer treatment, he’s also a scientist and educator. In fact, Dr. Fireman’s first career was as a chemist including pharmaceutical research. He also taught high school science; physics and biology. Then before and during medical school, he did leukemia research at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
As a radiation oncologist, Dr. Fireman is privileged to be able to treat patients who have a wide assortment of cancer diagnoses, from breast to prostate to lung as well as in many other locations of the body. Even though he is a cancer specialist, some nonmalignant diseases can be treated with radiation.
Philosophy of Care
Great radiation oncologists who were his teachers during medical school and in subsequent training helped Dr. Fireman recognize that radiation oncologists combine physical diagnosis with evidence-based medicine and technology while working with surgeons, medical oncologists and primary care physicians to provide fully integrated care. “Radiation oncology board exams are one of the few disciplines that are one-third medicine, one third biology and one third physics,” he said. He was fortunate enough to be part of the team to treat the first stereotactic radiosurgery patient in the state of New York. This was an application for benign disease. This is an expanding area for highly targeted therapies such as MidMichigan’s Gamma Knife.
“The field of radiation oncology is constantly evolving. We’ve been on the cutting edge of using technology as it evolves to improve the quality of cancer care we deliver,” he explained. “We set quality measures and make rational treatment decisions while maintaining the human touch.” With more precise technology, such as the Gamma Knife and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), radiation beams can be targeted for shorter courses of treatment with higher doses. Yet sometimes longer courses of treatment are better for patients. “Cancer is a diverse set of diseases and each course of treatment for each patient must be individualized for each patient’s diagnosis.” Dr. Fireman takes a team approach with the patient, the nurse, the physicist and the radiation therapist, as well as the patient’s team of physicians.
Dr. Fireman wants his patients to know that he is “patient-centric.”
Dr. Fireman, his wife, AnnMarie, and their children, Joshua, a University of Michigan law student, and Lilly, have returned to Michigan because they like the physical and cultural environment and to be nearer to memories of their daughter and sister, Sarah, who passed away. Sarah was raised in Michigan. Dr. Fireman said that his family is his “first hobby.” AnnMarie, a metal clay artist, and Dr. Fireman are “super excited” to be back in the middle of Michigan.
Special Interests and Procedures
- Rapid Arc and Helical Therapy
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery
- Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy