If you or someone you know is considering radiation therapy, we are here to provide guidance and information on available options. Our advanced radiation therapy technologies prioritize precision, accuracy, and patient comfort to achieve improved outcomes and minimize side effects.
- What is radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is a valuable tool in the treatment of cancer and can help to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and relieve symptoms. It can be used either alone or in conjunction with other treatment methods, such as surgery or chemotherapy. The main aim of radiation therapy is to reduce the size of tumours, stop their metastasis, and eradicate malignant cells. Radiation therapy has also been shown effective at shrinking benign tumours and alleviating their symptoms in patients with non-cancerous conditions.
- How radiation therapy works: Radiation therapy uses powerful, highly-focused radiation to target cancer cells, damaging their DNA and stopping them from dividing and growing. While radiation therapy can also affect healthy cells, doctors carefully target the radiation to minimize damage to surrounding healthy tissues. The treatment is either delivered from a machine outside the body or from radioactive sources inside the body. The cancer cells are unable to grow over time, leading to tumor shrinkage and destruction.
- Types of radiation therapy: Radiation therapy has different types, including external beam radiation, brachytherapy, IMRT, IGRT, SBRT, SRS, and 3D Conformal Radiotherapy. External beam radiation therapy uses a machine to deliver radiation to the body from outside, while brachytherapy places radioactive sources inside the body. IMRT and IGRT use advanced technology to shape and target the radiation beam more precisely, while SBRT and SRS deliver high doses of radiation in a few treatments. 3DCRT uses advanced imaging technology to create a 3D model of the tumor and surrounding healthy tissue, allowing doctors to precisely target the radiation beams to match the exact shape of the tumor.
- Length of treatment: Most courses of conventional radiation therapy last for 8 to 10 weeks, with daily sessions lasting anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Many of centers also offer the CyberKnife® treatment that can be completed in as little as 1 to 5 sessions over 1 to 2 weeks, allowing patients to return to their daily routine sooner. All of our radiation therapy treatments are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning that you do not need to stay in a hospital overnight.
- Side effects: Although an effective treatment option for many types of cancer, radiation therapy treatments can sometime cause side effects. These may include skin irritation, fatigue, and nausea. Some patients may also experience changes in their appetite, difficulty swallowing, and changes in bowel habits. The side effects can vary depending on the type and stage of cancer being treated, as well as the patient’s overall health. It is important to notify your healthcare team of any side effects so that they can be properly managed.
If you are considering radiation therapy as a treatment option, it is important to discuss your options with your healthcare team to determine the best plan for your individual needs. Contact our centers for a personal consultation to discuss your options.