Radiation therapy, sometimes called radiotherapy, is the use of various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer. Physicians use radiation therapy to try to cure cancer, to control the growth of the cancer, or to relieve symptoms. While you undergo radiation therapy, a team of highly trained medical professionals, led by a radiation oncologist, will be working together to make sure you receive the best care possible.
Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA within cancer cells and destroying the ability of the cancer cells to reproduce. When these damaged cells die, the body naturally eliminates them. Normal cells are also affected by radiation, but they are able to repair themselves in a way that cancer cells cannot.
New Image-Guided Radiotherapy System
Spectrum Health Lakeland recently acquired the TrueBeam™ radiotherapy system for high-precision, image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery. The TrueBeam system, from Varian Medical Systems, integrates new imaging and motion management technologies within a new design that makes it possible to deliver treatments more quickly.
The system also monitors and compensates for tumor motion, which is designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer. Learn more about the Varian TrueBeam here.
Other options for radiation therapy include the following:
High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
HDR Brachytherapy is a quicker, more effective way to give radiation treatments. Brachytherapy places the radiation inside the tumor, tightly focused within the site of the cancer. This technique ensures the maximum radiation dose is focused so that little radiation reaches the healthy surrounding tissue.
Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT)
The ZEISS INTRABEAM® intraoperative therapy system delivers a targeted single-dose of radiation to the site of the tumor, after a Lumpectomy. IORT, minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue and organs. It has also proven less costly, with limited side effects.
Low-Dose Rate Brachytherapy
Radioactive sources, surgically placed, deliver low doses of radiation over a specified period of time.
Prostate Seed Implant Program
Radioactive material, in the form of many small “seeds,” is implanted directly into the prostate.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is an advanced method of delivering high-precision radiation therapy to the tumor, which assists to minimize side effect to the normal tissue.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
This new, non-invasive technique delivers high doses of radiation to tumors outside of the brain. Damage to surrounding normal, healthy tissues is minimized by utilizing special equipment to position the patient to decrease movement and ensure treatment accuracy.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
The radiation oncologist and the neurosurgeon collaborate to plan the delivery of high doses of radiation therapy to treat brain lesions and abnormalities using very precise targets therapy.