What is Radiation Therapy?
Over half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy
during their cancer treatment experience. The goal of radiation treatment
is to damage cancer cells while ensuring as little harm as possible to
nearby healthy cells. Radiation kills cancer cells chiefly by damaging
their DNA (large molecules inside cells that control the cell’s
function and carry genetic information from one generation to the next).
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.
Our Radiation Oncology team provides cancer treatment using:
We develop a treatment plan using the latest technology and research.
Consultation - The first step in treatment is meeting with the Radiation Oncologist
for an initial consultation. We will review your diagnosis and outline
possible treatment options.
If radiation is selected as part of your treatment plan, simulation is
Simulation – Sometimes referred to as a planning session, Simulation is where
films and measurements are taken so that your doctor, physicist, and dosimetrist
can design your individual treatment plan.
The treatment team may also make custom masks or molds, and utilize headrests,
wedges and other immobilization devices to keep you in position during
treatment. Usually the area of your body that requires treatment will
be marked with either a special dye or a small tattoo so your treatment
fields can be set up accurately for every treatment.
Treatment Planning - Once the simulation process is complete, the Radiation Oncologist, physicist,
and dosimetrist will determine your exact treatment plan, including the
type of energy to use, the amount of radiation needed, and the number
of treatments given.
Daily Treatment - Your first treatment may take up to one hour. Radiation Therapists will
do quality assurance checks to ensure that everything is exactly as the
Radiation Oncologist prescribed.
If you are receiving external beam treatment, your daily treatment will
take 10-20 minutes to complete. Daily CyberKnife treatments take 30-90
minutes to complete.
Understanding Side Effects - You may experience some side effects during your course of radiation
Fatigue and skin irritation are among the most common side effects experienced
by most patients. Side effects vary depending on the treatment area and
the sensitivity of each patient.
The area’s leading Radiation Oncology team.
The Radiation Oncology team at Frederick Health is accredited by the American
College of Radiology.
With a focus on patient care, treatment and safety, personnel qualifications,
facility, equipment, and quality assurance procedures, the Radiation Oncology
team at Frederick Health is the only radiation oncology team to achieve
this three-year accreditation.
Meet your Radiation Oncology Team
Contact our Radiation Oncology team today.
Radiation Oncology is located at the
James M Stockman Cancer Institute.
Call 240-566-4500 to learn more or to make an appointment. Call 240-566-3300
for emergencies, or during weekend/evening hours.
Radiation Oncology Doctors