Radiation therapy, sometimes called radiotherapy, is used to treat cancer by using high-energy x-ray beams to pinpoint and destroy cancerous cells/ tumors. Many forms of radiation therapy are available. Our oncologist will choose the best radiation therapy based on the type, stage, and location of your cancer.
With careful planning by our board-certified physicians, dosimetrist and physicist, radiation can be directed to the cancer and away from most normal tissues. This means you may receive treatment on more than one side of your body or from different angles. You may also need more than one type of radiation, which may require the use of more than one machine.
Over 50% of cancer patients will undergo radiation therapy. For some patients, it will be the only cancer treatment they need. Radiation therapy is often used in combination with other treatments. Used before or during other procedures, radiation shrinks the tumor to make surgery or chemotherapy more effective. Used afterward, it destroys any cancer cells that might remain.
At the Cancer Center of Southeast Texas we provide several different types of radiation therapy treatments.
Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy ( 3D-CRT)
This is a process in which CT images are used to create detailed, accurate, three-dimensional representations of a tumor and any surrounding organs.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT is a more specialized form of 3D-CRT that allows radiation beams to be more precisely structured to the shape of a tumor. IMRT enables oncologist to use higher doses of radiation and still limit radiation exposure to healthy tissue.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
IGRT provides real-time tumor imaging in conjunction with the delivery of radiation therapy. With IGRT, the radiation oncologist can make precise millimeter adjustments to the patient’s position to ensure an exact delivery of the radiation dose to the tumor.
Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT/ SRS)
SBRT is a radiation technique in which high doses of radiation are delivered in a relatively short time, typically in only five sessions.
High Dose Brachytherapy (HDR)
Also called internal radiation therapy, this is the placement of radioactive sources in or just next to a tumor using special catheters or applicators. By using this technique, large doses of radiation can be delivered directly to the cancer cells with minimal exposure to healthy tissue. These high-dose treatments can usually be completed in 10-20 minutes as an outpatient.
Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI)
This is a form of brachytherapy that allows some breast cancers to be treated in one week rather than the usual six weeks.