Radiation oncologists use sophisticated computers and machines to direct beams of high-energy particles at tumors. This radiation energy targets and kills cancer cells. Radiation will only kill cancer cells in the area that has been radiated. This exciting field draws from many research areas including biology, physics and engineering.
During the initial consultation, the radiation oncologist reviews the patient’s medical history, explains treatment options and answers questions. The radiation oncologist will then “map” out the area of the body that will be radiated, carefully planning to deliver maximum radiation to the cancer while sparing healthy tissue. Patients continue to see their radiation oncologists every week during radiation treatment to monitor progress and side effects.
Radiation can be delivered from outside the body (external beam) or by being placed inside the body (implanted seeds). Typically, a patient will visit the radiation suite multiple times to receive repeated doses of radiation over a specified period. There may be as few as 1–2 visits, or as many as daily visits for several weeks. Sometimes, radiation is combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, to help remove more cancer from the body.
Our GE LightSpeed RT CT simulator produces high-resolution images for precise tumor marking. It was the first multi-slice CT scanner dedicated to radiation therapy.
MCC has two state-of-the-art linear accelerators, including the Varian TrueBeam system, the world’s first image-guided radiation therapy system optimized for both conventional and stereotactic approaches to treating cancer.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Image-guided radiation therapy uses imaging to target the delivery of radiation to a tumor. IGRT is used to treat tumors that are close to critical organs and tissues.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT modifies the radiation beam so the dose conforms to the tumor’s shape.
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)
Using multiple beams from many angles, this treatment method delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding organs.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
A high-dose of radiation therapy is used to precisely treat the tumor rather than using a blade for excision.