Radiation oncology uses radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy has the ability to deliver controlled, high-energy dosages of radiation to targeted cancer cells leaving most normal cells alone. This controlled delivery will help minimize side effects.
Dr. Stafford will work with you individually to develop a personalized treatment plan, which will begin with a number of tests, such as CT scans, MRI’s, PET scans and ultrasounds. The images collected through these tests will help your oncologist determine the treatment area, dosage and frequency of treatments.
Treatments are usually required daily for two to eight weeks. Each session takes about 15-20 minutes. Treatments may be delivered in three ways:
- External Beam Radiation Therapy, which uses a machine outside the body to deliver the radiation.
- Internal Radiation Therapy (or Bracytherapy), which delivers radioactive material inside the body near the cancer cells.
- Systemic Radiation Therapy, which uses an oral medication or an injection to deliver the radioactive substance.
Side Effects of Radiotherapy
The side effects of radiation therapy vary and depend on the dosage given each day and the area targeted.
Dr. Stafford will thoroughly discuss your treatment plan, possible side effects, ways to manage side effects and realistic expectations from treatment. We encourage you to ask questions before, during and after your treatment.