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What Is Radiation Therapy?
According to the National Cancer Institute: "Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. x-rays, gamma rays, and charged particles are types of radiation used for cancer treatment.
The radiation may be delivered by a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy), or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy, also called brachytherapy).
About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy sometime during the course of their treatment."
What to Expect as a Patient
Treatments for a cancer diagnosis can be intimidating and we want to help you through the process.
When you arrive for your first visit, the medical assistant, nurse, physician assistant, resident and physician will review your records and discuss your diagnosis and options for treatment. If radiation therapy is selected as a treatment option, the next visit will be a CT simulation, where you will have a CT scan and images will be taken of the treatment area.
The CT imaging will then be used to create your personalized treatment plan, such as the X-ray beams that will target various areas of the tumor, along with avoiding healthy tissue that does not need treatment. Once your physician reviews and approves the treatment plan, a radiation therapist will meet you each day you are to receive treatment, position you on the treatment table, and deliver the treatment.
You will see your physician for a clinic visit once each week to monitor your progress until the completion of your treatment.