Radiation oncology

Radiation therapy is a common treatment for many types of cancer. It uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therpay is a very targeted therapy, aimed specifically at a tumor or cancer cells – as opposed to chemotherapy, which uses medicine to treat your whole body.

Radiation may be used alone or in combination with another treatment like chemotherapy. It may be used to shrink a tumor prior to another treatment (like surgery) or after another treatment to stop the growth of any remaining cancer cells. Radiation is also a common therapy for relieving symptoms of advanced cancer.

There are several different methods to deliver radiation treatment to cancer patients. It can come from a machine outside the body that sends high-energy beams to your tumor, or from radioactive material placed inside the body. The type of therapy prescribed by theradiation oncologist will depend on a number of factors including the type, size and location of the cancer, as well as the general health and medical history.

At Vidant Health, we deliver radiation treatment in a comfortable environment for patients and their families. Our teams include fully licensed radiation therapists, medical physicists, dosimetrists and support staff. Our progressive treatment options are accompanied by rigorous clinical and safety practices. Our standards meet or exceed standards established by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM).

Types of radiation therapy provided at Vidant Health locations include the following:

External Beam Radiation Therapy

  • Linear accelerator (LINAC) machine – uses electricity to create high-energy radiation
  • Three-Dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) – uses sophisticated computer software and advanced treatment machines to deliver radiation to precisely targeted areas
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) – focuses beams of varying intensities on the tumor from different angles, reducing the damage to nearby healthy tissue. This treatment is well-suited for some patients with prostate cancer, head and neck cancer and certain types of brain tumors.
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) – uses repeated imaging scans during treatment to make sure that the radiation is always “locked on” the target area.
  • Varian TrueBeam™
  • Gamma Knife®
  • CyberKnife®
  • Calypso® 4G Localization System™

Internal Radiation Therapy

  • Brachytherapy – radiation that is delivered from sources placed inside the body using needles or catheters. As the material decays naturally, it gives off radiation that damages or destroys nearby cancer cells. Brachytherapy can deliver higher doses of radiation to some cancers than externally delivered treatments while protecting normal tissue.
  • Prostate seed implants – radioactive seeds the size of rice grains are placed directly into the prostate gland and removed once treatment is completed.
  • CONTURA® Multi-Lumen Balloon (MLB) Catheter
  • Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) — a post-surgical radiation treatment for patients with early stage breast cancer. APBI effectively destroys remaining cancer cells and helps prevent a recurrence with high precision radiation delivery, enabling maximum dosage with minimum risk of side effects.
  • MammoSite® Radiation Therapy System for Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation
  • SAVI® Breast Brachytherapy for Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation

Technologies for Radiation oncology

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What to Expect for Radiation oncology

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Side Effects and Risk Factors for Radiation oncology

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Education and Resources for Radiation oncology

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Learn More about Radiation oncology

Vidant Health can connect you to health care professionals to help you understand your condition and guide you through the treatment process. Let’s chat.