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Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy is an x-ray treatment that damages or destroys cancer cells in your body. Our radiation oncologists will oversee your radiation therapy treatments, work with the other members of the radiation therapy team to develop your treatment plan and ensure that each treatment is accurately given. Your radiation oncologist will also monitor your progress and adjust the treatment as necessary to make sure the radiation is hitting its target while minimizing side effects. Before, during and after your radiation therapy treatments, your radiation oncologist will work closely with your other cancer doctors, such as your medical oncologist and/or surgeon, to maximize the radiation’s effectiveness.

Click here to learn about our state of the art radiation therapy treatment systems available.

Breath Hold Technique

The Cancer Center is now offering an innovative technique for delivering even safer treatments to many breast cancer patients. It incorporates a breath hold technique based on research aimed at improving radiation therapy treatment for women with left-sided breast cancer, as well as for patients with a variety of other cancers. Click here to learn more.

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

Procedure that uses a computer to generate a picture of a tumor to help guide the radiation beam during radiation therapy. The images are created using CT, ultrasound, x-ray or other imaging techniques. IGRT makes radiation therapy more accurate and can reduce damage to healthy tissues.

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

A type of 3-dimensional radiation therapy that uses computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor. Thin beams of radiation of different intensities are aimed at the tumor from many angles. This type of radiation therapy reduces the damage to healthy tissue near the tumor.

Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)

Radiation delivery technique similar to TomoTherapy but the patient’s treatment is delivered in 1 to 2 rotations of the treatment unit. VMAT has the potential to significantly shorten the time to deliver each patient’s treatment fraction.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

Radiation delivery technique where the source of radiation is outside of the patient’s body.

  • Photon Therapy – Particles used to treat deep-seated tumors (for example – prostate cancer)
  • Electron Therapy – Particles used to treat superficial or shallow tumors (for example – skin cancer)

Brachytherapy

Radiation delivery technique where radioactive sources are located within the patient’s body. These source implants can be temporary or permanent depending on the type of tumor being treated.

  • High Dose Rate (HDR): Breast (MammoSite), Gynecological
  • Low Dose Rate (LDR): Prostate seed implants

Special Procedures:

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – A type of external radiation therapy that uses special equipment to position the patient and precisely give a single large dose of radiation to a tumor. It is used to treat brain tumors and other brain disorders that cannot be treated by regular surgery. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
  • Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) – A type of external radiation therapy that uses special equipment to position the patient and precisely deliver radiation to a tumor. The total dose of radiation is divided into several smaller doses given over several days. Stereotactic radiation therapy is used to treat brain tumors and other brain disorders. It is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer, such as lung cancer.
  • Total Skin Electron Irradiation – A type of radiation therapy using electrons that is directed at the entire surface of the body. This type of radiation goes into the outer layers of the skin, but does not go deeper into tissues and organs below the skin. Also called TSEB radiation therapy.

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