Radiation oncology aims to reduce tumors by creating chemical changes within cancer cells. Because it is highly localized, radiation therapy produces limited side effects and is one of the most precise treatment options available. Radiation therapy may be delivered in one of the following forms:
- External Beam
The most common type of radiation therapy, external beam radiation therapy is designed to target a specific part of your body. The treatment machines aim high-powered beams inside the body at cancer cells to prevent them from dividing.
A form of external beam therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) breaks the radiation into thousands of thin beams to better target the cancer and minimize effects on surrounding tissue.
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), one of the most cutting edge innovations in fighting cancer, combines imaging and treatment capabilities on a single machine.
- Internal radiation therapy that involves radioactive sources injected or placed inside the body.
Other treatments include:
- Stereotactic radiosurgery – Uses a single large dose of radiation to treat brain and other tumor tissue
- Stereotactic radiotherapy – Delivers radiation to tissue, but uses multiple small fractions of radiation instead of one large dose
- 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy – Uses CT, MRI or PET technology to more precisely target tumors gauging width, height and depth; 4D conformal radiation therapy includes respiratory gating, which monitors the patient’s breathing and respiratory cycle to determine the exact moment to deliver the most effective radiation
- Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) – Delivers radiation to tumors while they are exposed during surgery
No matter what type of radiation therapy may be most appropriate for you, board certified radiation oncologists and a team of physcists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists and nurses will be there with you every step of the way.