Radiation oncology, also called radiation therapy, uses radiation to kill cancer cells. Used by itself or with cancer-fighting medicines or surgery, radiation is one of the most effective cancer treatments available. Radiation may be used to shrink a tumor before surgery so that it can be removed more easily, or it can be used after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. In some cases, radiation without surgery may be the most appropriate treatment against certain types of cancer.
The goal of any radiation treatment is to target specific tumors with the exact amount of radiation required, while minimizing exposure to surrounding normal, healthy tissue.
Most patients who receive radiation therapy at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute will receive external-beam radiation treatments from one of our linear accelerators. These highly accurate machines beam radiation into the tumor from outside your body. You will not feel the radiation pass through your skin.
The actual treatment takes only two to three minutes. By using the latest treatment and planning technologies, we are able to target your cancer with pinpoint accuracy and reduce the amount of time you need to spend receiving treatments.
Your doctor will prescribe a detailed, individualized treatment plan specific to your needs. Your course of therapy will be based on precise measurements gathered from a physical examination and from diagnostic imaging, such as computer tomography (CT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center has also piloted the technology of image-guided radiation therapy, which allows your doctor to track the location and movement of the tumor while you are on the treatment table.
Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
Concord Health Center