Radiation Oncology

The radiation oncology specialists at Saint Francis Health System are committed to using the most sophisticated radiation technologies available today. Working in close collaboration with other cancer specialists, our team’s first priority is to ensure our patients receive treatment plans that are safe and effective.

Key points regarding radiation oncology include:

  • The radiation used for cancer treatment may come from a machine outside the body, or it may come from radioactive material placed in the body near tumor cells or injected into the bloodstream.
  • A patient may receive radiation therapy before, during or after surgery, depending on the type of cancer being treated.
  • Some patients receive radiation therapy alone, and some receive radiation therapy in combination with chemotherapy.
  • Radiation can be given as a curative modality, either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy.
  • Radiation may also be used in a palliative manner, to relieve symptoms in patients with incurable cancers.

Specialized treatment options provided by the Natalie Warren Bryant Cancer Center radiation oncology team include:

  • External beam radiation: A type of radiation therapy that uses a machine to aim high-energy rays at the cancer from outside of the body.
  • 3-D conformal radiation therapy: With this type of therapy, three-dimensional radiation beams are conformed precisely to the contour of the treatment area.
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): This is a format for delivering high-dose radiation therapy to regions surrounded by radiation-sensitive areas
  • Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT): IGRT is a procedure that refines the delivery of therapeutic radiation to ensure accurate treatment and minimize the volume of normal tissue exposed to ionizing radiation.
  • Respiratory gating: Gating is a system that tracks a patient's normal respiratory cycle with an infrared camera and chest/abdomen marker. The system is coordinated to only deliver radiation when the tumor is in the treatment field.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS): This is a type of external radiation therapy that uses special equipment to position the patient and precisely give a large dose of radiation to a tumor.