Radiation Therapy Services
Radiation therapy is the highly accurate and precise use of high-energy radiation (such as X-rays) to treat cancer. Radiation therapy works by destroying the cancer cells' ability to reproduce. The body then uses its immune system to clear the cells.
Radiation is commonly combined with chemotherapy or surgery, depending on the type and location of the cancer. It may be used to:
- Cure cancer
- Prevent local regrowth of the cancer
- Relieve symptoms, such as pain or shortness of breath
External Radiation Beam Therapy
Radiation is targeted at the tumor using technology outside a patient's body called a linear accelerator (LINAC). With careful treatment planning, the surrounding normal tissue can be spared.
The treatment process can take 10 to 30 minutes each day with most of the time spent positioning the patient. Patients usually receive radiation treatments once a day, five days a week, for a total of one to nine weeks. Occasionally, treatments are given twice a day. The total duration of a course of radiation depends on the patient’s diagnosis, stage of disease, overall health, and the goal of treatment.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is an advanced method of external beam treatment that results in the radiation dose more closely matching the three-dimensional shape of the tumor. With IMRT, the radiation oncologist can deliver higher radiation doses to tumors with fewer side effects compared with conventional external beam techniques. Currently, IMRT is being used most extensively to treat cancers of the prostate, head and neck, left-sided breast, lung, and central nervous system.
Radiation Oncology at Firelands Regional Medical Center
The Radiation Oncology program at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center at Firelands Regional Medical Center is accredited by the American College of Radiology.
The radiation oncology team consists of a multidisciplinary group of professionals that work closely to prescribe, design and deliver care for you during your treatment course. The following are the members of our team:
What is a radiation oncologist? The radiation oncologist is the physician who determines that radiation therapy is necessary for treatment. The physician determines the type of radiation, the area to be treated and the dose to be given. The physician monitors that every treatment is accurately given and identifies and treats any side effects from the radiation therapy. The patient sees the physician in an appointment setting at least once per week while on treatment.
The medical physicist is responsible for commissioning and maintaining radiation-producing machines to assure radiation is delivered safely and accurately. The medical physicist leads the quality assurance and radiation protection program.
The certified medical dosimetrist designs the treatment plans that deliver a prescribed radiation dose in accordance with the radiation oncologist's prescription. The dosimetrist uses highly sophisticated computers to create the treatment plan that meets the physician’s prescribed dose to the tumor area but does not give a higher dose than necessary to healthy tissue.
Radiation therapists are trained in the delivery of radiation treatments, ensuring accuracy, precision and safety at all times under the direction of the radiation oncologist. The therapists will see the patient every day and provide constant patient care and monitoring for side effects and problems.
Our oncology nurses see patients at least weekly to ensure patients are feeling well during treatment, to answer questions and to manage side effects. The nurses play a key role in educating the patient about treatments, side effects and resources available.
If you have questions about our radiation therapy services, call us at 419-557-7480 today.