Radiation therapy (RT) is the use of high energy X-rays or electrons to kill cancer cells. Large, specialized X-ray machines called linear accelerators are used to create the X-rays, which are invisible to the eye. During treatment, the machine's x-ray beam is directed to the area of the body involved with the cancer.
Radiation may also be given in a form called brachytherapy, placing radioactive seeds or other materials in the affected area of the body. Radiation is released from these seeds or implants directly into the area of the cancer.
Radiation therapy is used to treat cancers of the lung, breast, brain, prostate, cervix, uterus and other organs. Most radiation therapies are scheduled as five treatments a week, given Monday through Friday, for a period of six to eight weeks.
A staff of highly trained professionals works with you during your treatment. The doctor is a radiation oncologist, a physician who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer. Treatments are given by licensed radiation therapists (RTTs) who follow a plan for treatment prescribed by the doctor. Specialists in radiation energy and how it works (physicists), radiation dosing (dosimetrists), and radiation nursing are other members of your treatment team. Using highly sophisticated technology, these professionals work together to make your treatment comfortable and convenient.
To make an appointment or have your doctor refer you to a radiation oncologist, call us at 217-788-3260.