Radiation therapies available through Lakeshore Area Radiation Oncology Center include:
- External beam radiation—This is the most common type of radiation therapy used for cancer treatment. Much like a X-ray, the procedure is completely painless. A large machine aims the energy beams at the affected area, and each treatment lasts only a few minutes. Radiation therapy is typically given 5 days a week for five to six weeks.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- Image Guided Radiation Therapy
- 4D respiratory gated treatment
- Onboard Imaging (OBI)
- Brachytherapy—Also known as internal radiation or implant therapy, this type of radiation therapy is performed by placing radioactive seeds or pellets into the tissues around the cancer. It may be used alone or in conjunction with external beam radiation.
Sometime CAT scans (CTs) will be needed before the first treatment begins. The radiation oncologist, nurse or radiation therapist will explain each step in the process and answer any questions. Once treatment begins, each treatment is painless and lasts only a few minutes. Generally sessions are scheduled at the same time and same day(s).
Common side effects of radiation therapy may include:
- red, sunburn-like rash
- minor swelling.
Rare side effects of radiation therapy may include:
- arm swelling (lymphedema)
- broken ribs
- damage to the lungs or nerves