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Radiation Oncology

Our radiation oncology team wants each patient to understand his or her diagnosis and treatment by knowing what to expect and how to prepare. Patients are encouraged to ask questions and to share concerns.

Morrison Cancer Center is committed to you, providing the best treatments, the most advanced technology and a passion for innovation. Our caring staff, family atmosphere, and strength of spirit are here for you.

What is a Radiation Oncologist?

A radiation oncologist is a physician who directs your radiation treatments and care while you are undergoing radiation therapy. Your first appointment will be spent discussing and understanding your diagnosis as well as options for treatment. The first day may also include a planning CT (simulation planning scan) that allows measurements while you are in the treatment position.

Use of Radiation Oncology

Radiation is used for local elimination of malignant cells. Side-effects of radiation treatment can be temporary or permanent. The radiation oncologist will explain the specific treatment and side-effects in detail.

Radiation therapy is very precise. Advancing science continues to unveil new treatments useful for treating particular types of cancer. External radiation is delivered with a linear accelerator using ultra-modern methods to focus treatment on uniquely-shaped tumors while sparing healthy tissue. Our Varian 21EX has a 120 multi-leaf collimator with on-board imaging, using KV match and coned beam CT.

Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) delivers radiation of various intensity with 3-D conformal fields. This directs more radiation at the tumor and less on healthy tissue. The treatment-planning process uses imaging exams and computer simulations to define the treated area and includes careful quality assurance.

Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) uses reference images that are fused with images taken during treatment to precisely localize the treatment target.

High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR) treatment for partial breast radiation of early-stage breast cancer offers radiation in five days compared to seven and a half weeks of standard, external therapy.