Radiation oncology is the bombardment of tumors with radiation beams. These beams are effective at halting the growth of tumors or forcing them into remission. Many forms of radiation are available, but the best choice depends on the type of cancer a patient has, the extent of the cancer and the cancer's location. Different types of cancer react to radiation in different ways, so treatments vary.
A complete health care team cares for radiation patients.
The radiation oncologist specifies what is to be treated and for how long. This includes the amount of radiation a patient receives each day and the total number of treatment days.
A radiation therapist delivers the prescribed treatment and help patients before, during and after treatments.
The health care team also includes physicists, medical dosimetrists (specialists who use computers to help design treatment plans) and other trained staff members.
Radiation is delivered through a linear accelerator. CCC is equipped with state-of-the art linear accelerators that generate and focus radiation beams directly into a patient's tumor. Incredible amounts of manpower and computer time go into the treatment planning of this procedure to ensure the most effective radiation of the tumor, while keeping radiation exposure to surrounding tissues to a bare minimum.
The use of x-rays and computerized axial tomography virtual simulators (CT or CAT Scans) are common in the management of cancer care. Three-dimensional treatment planning, enabled by CT imaging and in conjunction with powerful computers, allows the most precise and effective radiation treatment of cancer.