Radiation Therapy 

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a treatment for cancer that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading. Low doses of radiation are used in common activities such as X-rays of your teeth or bones, yet when given in high doses, radiation kills or slows the growth of cancer cells.

Radiation therapy may be used at different times during your cancer treatment and for different reasons:

  • Before surgery, to shrink a cancerous tumor (neoadjuvant therapy)
  • After surgery, to stop the growth of any remaining cancer cells (adjuvant therapy)
  • In combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, to destroy cancer cells
  • In advanced cancer to alleviate symptoms caused by cancer

Radiation is delivered differently depending on the nature of the cancer. It can be delivered by an external beam using a linear accelerator (LINAC) or internally, where a source of radiation is placed inside the body (often called brachytherapy). 

Radiation therapy effectively treats many types of cancer, some of which include breast, colorectal, head and neck, prostate and gynecologic. In addition, radiation therapy may also be used to shrink tumors to reduce pain in patients with advanced cancers.

Types of treatment:

The ultimate goal of radiation therapy is to use enough radiation to kill the cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. Radiation therapy can be delivered either internally or externally. Depending on the location of your cancer, its size and type, you may receive either or both methods of treatment. If external beam radiation therapy is used, a machine will direct radiation at the cancer – much like a routine x-ray. Internal radiation, or brachytherapy, on the other hand, inserts radioactive materials, such as seeds, into your body.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a well-proven treatment for cancer and new advances have made it safer and more effective than ever. External beam radiation therapy comes from a linear accelerator that aims radiation at your cancer. Most people get external beam radiation therapy once per day, five days a week, Monday through Friday. Treatment lasts for two to 10 weeks, depending on the type of cancer you have and the goal of your treatment. The time between your first and last radiation therapy sessions is called a course of treatment. Radiation may also be given in smaller does twice a day (hyperfractionated radiation Therapy). 

Advanced Technology

We chose an Elekta system because the company offers the latest advanced linear accelerators, enabling faster, more accurate treatments. Radiation Therapy is performed using technology that sets standards for accuracy and integrated imaging. We will be able to image your tumor at the time and place of treatment. Seeing the tumor at the time soft treatment allows for more precise delivery of the radiation beam to the tumor, with less impact on healthy tissue.

The technology we use also supports your physician’s ability to safely monitor the delivery of ration using a highly advanced, fully digital control system with matches the radiation beam to the precise shape of your tumor using an advanced multi-leaf collimator (MLC). Elekta’s integrated, ultralow dose imaging technology reduces the total amount of unnecessary radiation you receive.