An oncologist is a type of doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. One type of treatment an oncologist may use is radiation therapy, which destroys cancer cells through beams of strong energy.
Radiation therapy services along the Wasatch Front
At MountainStar Healthcare, we provide patients access to expert radiation oncologists who are experienced in using radiation therapy as an effective way to treat cancer.
Our team works together to create an individualized care plan, including recovery and follow-up care, to ensure you receive the customized treatment you deserve.
Expert advice, available 24/7
What is radiation therapy?
We use radiation therapy as a part of our comprehensive approach to cancer care. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to treat cancer by preventing cancer cells from multiplying and growing. The goal is to stop, or at least slow, the growth of the tumor. In many cases, the tumor may be completely destroyed.
During your initial radiation therapy consultation, a radiation oncologist will discuss the duration of treatment, side effects and any other tests that may be necessary.
Types of radiation therapy
We offer access to different types of radiation therapy to ensure patients receive the care that is right for them.
Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation, applies radiation directly in and around a cancer. This type of radiation helps kill cancer cells, while sparing surrounding organs from excessive radiation. Brachytherapy is an effective treatment tool for cervical, prostate, breast and skin cancer, as well as various types of tumors.
Brachytherapy radiation sources can be placed either temporarily or permanently, and the duration of brachytherapy will depend on many factors. Brachytherapy may be used alone, or with external beam radiation or hormone therapy, depending on the stage of the cancer.
We also provide access to image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IG-IMRT), also referred to as tomotherapy.
Tomotherapy is the only radiation therapy system designed on a computed tomography (CT) scanner foundation with advanced radiation technology. The image-guided system uses images from CT scans to design external radiation beams that conform to the shape of the tumor by delivering beams from many directions. Tomotherapy takes images of the tumor right before treatment sessions to precisely target the tumor.
While conventional radiation therapy machines deliver a wide beam of radiation from only a few angles. Tomotherapy delivers radiation from all angles for accurate radiation treatment. It also regulates the dose of radiation so the strength of the beams are adjusted to give higher doses of radiation to the tumor while sparing normal tissue.
Benefits of tomotherapy
Tomotherapy offers many benefits, including:
- Being noninvasive and painless
- Having a short treatment time of approximately 10 minutes
- Minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues, so you have a lower risk of pain and complications
What to expect from radiation therapy
Once a method of radiation therapy has been decided upon, the doctors will begin to create a plan for your treatment. Simulation is the next phase of the radiation therapy planning process. They will work together to find the best position to treat the cancer. You may also be given semi-permanent markings to help the radiation therapist find the treatment area for future treatment.
During radiation, you will lie on a table that raises you into position under the radiation machine, called a linear accelerator. It is essential to be still during the treatment, and your body’s position will depend on your specific cancer and condition.
Protective blocks may be applied during the treatment to protect healthy tissues from the radiation. Your radiation therapist will monitor the entire treatment process from an outside room.
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