Radiation oncology is an integral part of the comprehensive cancer care
that we provide at MHP Oncology & Hematology. The center includes
an advanced radiation therapy program that is accredited by the American
College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Program.
Radiation therapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses radiation (strong
beams of energy) to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors and alleviate symptoms.
Radiation therapy, including intensity-modulated radiotherapy, may be
used in conjunction with surgery or chemotherapy to treat many different
types and stages of cancer.
These innovative technologies require a team of dedicated physicists and
other supporting staff that constantly work behind the scenes. Our team
performs rigorous quality assurance checks so that you get the full benefits
of our advanced technology.
Every physician of the Radiation Oncology department is a board-certified
radiation oncologist who works cohesively with a wonderful team of experts.
This friendly, compassionate team consists of a nurse, dosimetrist, two
radiation therapists, a dietitian, and an office coordinator.
About Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and help
you in your fight against cancer. Radiation destroys cancer cells gradually,
over time. The goal of therapy is to focus on and kill as many cancer
cells as possible. Radiation can also damage or kill some of the normal
cells that are closest to the tumor. Damaged normal cells can repair themselves,
often within a few days.
Each treatment usually takes 10 to 30 minutes. You may need to change
into a hospital gown. The radiation therapist positions you on the treatment
table, then leaves the room. During treatment, lie as still as you can
and breathe normally. You will hear noises coming from the machine. You
can talk to the radiation therapist, who watches you from the control
room on a TV monitor. After treatment, the therapist will help you off
the table. You can then get dressed and go back to your normal activities.
Preparation Required Before Procedure
Your radiation therapy team uses a special machine called a
simulator to map out your treatment. The simulator is an X-ray or CT (computerized
tomography) scan machine. This machine mimics the actual radiation equipment.
Laser lights act as guides to help position your body accurately. During
- The radiation beam is shaped to hit cancer cells and avoid as many normal
cells as possible.
- The best position for your body is determined. Notes are made in your chart
so you’ll be placed the same way each time.
- Special devices may be used to keep your body correctly positioned and
still during treatment. These may include molds, masks, rests, and blocks.
- Ink marks are made on your skin over the spot to be treated. Tiny permanent
tattoos may also be used. The marks act as a target for the treatment
to stay at the exact same place each time.
- Markers, such as metal balls or wires, may be placed on or in your body.
These work with the X-rays to position your body. The markers are removed
when the visit is over.
To learn more about our radiation oncology program, please call us at 317.421.1828.