This type of therapy delivers ionizing radiation to the cancer, destroying cancerous cells, through a sophisticated piece of equipment, such as a linear accelerator. To give healthy cells time to repair and recover, patients receive small doses of radiation at one time, usually on a daily basis, Monday through Friday. Most patients receive external beam therapy on an outpatient basis.
At the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, computer-controlled image guidance will allow physicians to deliver new and more accurate treatments. These new tools for image-guided radiation therapy increase the accuracy of treatment by allowing for changes in the patient position and potential movement of the target area.
Computer-controlled X-ray accelerators deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) conforms to the three-dimensional shape of the tumor by controlling the intensity of the radiation beam to focus a higher dose to the cancerous area, while minimizing radiation exposure of surrounding normal tissue.
IMRT is used at the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion to treat a number of cancers including: prostate, head and neck, breast, thyroid, lung, gynecologic, liver, brain, lymphoma and sarcoma.