Radiation therapy hero.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses special equipment to aim high doses of radiation at cancer cells. This damages the cancer cells and causes them to die. It can be given alone or used with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors by killing cancer cells. It can be a highly effective method of treating cancers of the bladder, brain, head and neck, lung, breast, prostate, skin, rectum, stomach, testicles, cervix and uterus, among others. It may also be used to combat lymphoma and sarcoma.

When is radiation therapy used?

Radiation therapy can be used alone or as part of a cancer treatment plan that may also include surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal or biological therapies. It may be used in an effort to cure the cancer, or to treat unpleasant symptoms the cancer is causing; such as pain or bleeding.

Depending on the type of radiation therapy technology used, patients may receive treatment in a single session or through a series of visits over a period that can last anywhere from one to eight weeks.

What are the different radiation treatment technologies?

There are two types of radiation used as treatments for cancer. One is delivered from outside of the body and the other is delivered internally at the site of the tumor. External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) uses a linear accelerator to target the tumor and deliver the radiation. Internal Radiation Therapy (IRT), also known as Brachytherapy, delivers radiation from within the body. High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy works by temporarily implanting narrow cannulas to access the tumor site to deliver the radiation through tubes and Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy works by implanting small radioactive seeds that remain in the body and become non-radioactive over time.

21st Century Oncology’s state-of-the-art EBRT and Brachytherapy systems deliver the most advanced radiation therapy in the world. Not only do the various technologies offer pinpoint accuracy, they do so faster and with minimum discomfort and interruption to our patients’ daily lives.

What is the right option for me?

At 21st Century Oncology, our radiation therapy treatment teams develop an individual treatment plan for each patient, taking into consideration the type of cancer, the stage and location of the cancer, the patient’s general health and the patient’s own preferences; among other factors. Visit a 21st Century Oncology location near you to learn what radiation therapy treatment plan is the best course of action for your recovery.