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Using Radiation Therapy to Treat Cancer

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.

For more information, contact us at 240-566-4100.

Treatment Methods

Our Radiation Medicine 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 scheduled.

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 treatment.

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 Medicine team.

The Radiation Medicine 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 Medicine Team

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