types of radiation therapy

According to the American Cancer Society, half of all cancer patients in the United States receive radiation as part of their treatment.
Most treatments are given using high-energy rays generated by a large machine called a linear accelerator.  The rays are directed toward the cancer from outside the body.
Treatment types:

  • Conformal external beam radiation
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy
  • Image guided radiation therapy
  • Respiratory gating
  • Ultrasound localization
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy
  • High-dose-rate brachytherapy
  • MammoSite (for early-stage breast cancer)
  • Prostate seed implants 

For some types of cancer, internal radiation therapy, or brachytherapy, is more effective. In this
treatment, a radioactive source is placed at the tumor side through a catheter, either for a short time at a high radiation level or for a longer period with a slow release of radiation.
Your doctor will discuss potential side effects with you before you begin treatment.
Preparation for your first visit:

  • For a comprehensive visit with your doctor, the following items should be available:
  • Medical records
  • X-ray films or discs
  • List of current medications and allergies
  • Referral forms/authorizations
  • All insurance information and prescription cards
  • List of questions


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