Radiation oncology damages cancer cells and gives us one of our strongest weapons in the fight against cancer. Franciscan Health radiation oncologists use a variety of innovative tools to treat patients with pinpoint accuracy and effectiveness.
Fighting Cancer with the Latest in Radiation Oncology
Cancer cells multiply faster than normal cells in the body. Because radiation is most harmful to rapidly growing cells, radiation therapy damages cancer cells more than normal cells. Specifically, radiation therapy damages the DNA of cancer cells. Doing so prevents the cancer cells from growing and dividing.
Radiation oncology procedures
Franciscan Health offers patients traditional and minimally invasive radiation therapy using linear accelerators and CT scanning for greater treatment accuracy in the fight against cancer:
Brachytherapy is radiation therapy given at a short, localized distance in which the radioactive sources are placed near the tumor.
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) brings optical imaging and radiation together for a more precise accuracy.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) offers the ability to isolate a tumor from surrounding healthy tissue for a more precision and less damage to the surrounding tissue.
This type of radiation therapy uses a few very high doses of radiation which are delivered to small, well-defined tumors. Treatment is typically given once a day for about a week, instead of several weeks with traditional radiation therapies.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is actually a treatment, not a surgery considering it doesn't involve any incisions. It is a very precise form of therapeutic radiology, which uses focused beams of radiation to treat cancer.
Some of our facilities offer MammoSite®, a technology used for the treatment of some breast tumors. It is a minimally invasive, short-duration form of brachytherapy used in breast cancer after lumpectomy procedures.
By internally delivering radiation directly to the tissue surrounding the original tumor, exposure to the rest of the breast, skin, ribs, lungs and heart is limited. MammoSite® can reduce treatment times from six weeks to one and makes it easier for women to consider lumpectomies rather than mastectomies, promoting the practice of breast conservation therapy.