Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy is a carefully targeted and regulated x-ray treatment that damages or destroys cancer cells in the body. At Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, your radiation oncologist will oversee your radiation therapy treatments and collaborate with other members of the radiation therapy team to develop and ensure accurate, personalized delivery of your treatment plan. Your radiation oncologist will also work closely with your team of doctors to maximize the therapy’s effectiveness before, during and after your course of cancer treatment.

Leading-Edge Technology

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Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is committed to providing the highest standard of care and offering our patients the most up-to-date, leading-edge radiation treatment technology in the nation. Our radiation oncology team treats patients using state-of-the-art technology. Many innovative practices that have improved radiation-based imaging and treatment technology here at the Cancer Center and around the world are a result of collaboration between our physicians and medical physicists. Together, our oncologists and scientists are finding new ways to use technology to enhance patient care.

Learn more at marybird.org/technology.

Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

This procedure uses a computer to generate a picture of the tumor to help guide the radiation beam during radiation therapy treatment. The images are created using CT, ultrasound, x-ray or other imaging techniques and allows for more precise alignment of radiation beams for treatment. IGRT makes radiation therapy more accurate and can reduce damage to healthy tissue.

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

This type of radiation therapy is carefully planned using three-dimensional computer-generated images to show the size and shape of the tumor. The radiation beams then target the tumor from multiple angles at varying intensities. This type of radiation therapy allows for more precise targeting of the tumor and reduces the damage to healthy tissue near the tumor.

Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT)

VMAT is one of the most advanced methods of delivering IMRT treatment. The machine rotates in real time while continuously delivering high-dose, focused radiation beams. This method allows for more accurate targeting of the tumor and shorter treatment times.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

In this radiation delivery technique, radiation beams are delivered from outside of the patient’s body and targeted at the tumor site. The method helps with targeting precision and reducing damage to healthy tissues.
Types of external beam radiation therapy include: 

  • Photon Therapy – Photon beams are particles used to treat deep-seated tumors, like those often seen in prostate cancer.
  • Electron Therapy – Electron beams are particles used to treat superficial or shallow tumors nearer to the surface of the body, like skin cancer.


In Brachytherapy, radioactive sources are placed within the patient’s body in effort to eliminate cancer cells and shrink tumors. This allows for a highly localized dose of radiation with less damage to surrounding tissue. 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 Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) – A type of ablative, external radiation therapy that delivers extremely precise doses to cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. It involves the use of sophisticated image guidance that pinpoints the exact three-dimensional location of a tumor so that the radiation can be more precisely delivered to cancer cells. SBRT is typically used to treat small, early-stage lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, or cancers that have spread to the lung, liver, adrenal gland or spine.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – A type of non-surgical external radiation therapy used to target tumors more precisely and deliver a single high-dose treatment, helping to preserve healthy tissue. This procedure is used to treat brain tumors and other brain abnormalities that cannot be treated by surgery. It is 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 for a precise delivery of radiation to a tumor. The total dose of radiation is divided into several smaller doses given over several days. This procedure is used to treat brain tumors and other brain disorders. It is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer, including lung cancer.
  • Total Skin Electron Irradiation – A type of radiation therapy using electrons aimed at irradiating the skin while sparing other tissues and organs. The radiation is directed at the entire surface of the body into the outer layers of the skin but does not go deeper into tissue and organs below the skin. This procedure is also called TSEB radiation therapy.

Breath Hold Technique

The Cancer Center offers an innovative technique for delivering even safer treatments to many breast cancer patients. The breath hold technique is 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. This technique helps to improve efficiency while also reducing damage to healthy tissues and organs.

Locations Available for Radiation Oncology

Baton Rouge - Essen Lane location


Main Campus
4950 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
(225) 767-0847

The Breast and GYN Cancer Pavilion


Woman's Hospital
500 Rue de la Vie
Baton Rouge, LA 70817
(225) 215-7100

Mary Bird Perkins Covington Cancer Center


1203 S. Tyler Street
Covington, LA 70433
(985) 875-2234

Gonzales Building


1104 Louisiana 30 W
Gonzales, LA 70737
(225) 644-1205



15728 Paul Vega Medical Center Drive
Hammond, LA 70403
(985) 542-5000

Jason Cohen Photo
©Jason Cohen


8166 Main Street, Suite 101
Houma, LA 70360
(985) 876-9045



133 Jeff Davis Boulevard
Natchez, MS 39120
(601) 442-1285