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Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy X-rays to stop cancer cells from growing and multiplying. About half of all people with cancer receive radiation treatment, and for many individuals, radiation is the only cancer treatment they need. The goal of radiation therapy depends on your specific type of cancer and your overall health. Generally, radiation therapy is designed to achieve one or both of the following results:

  • Stop the growth of cancer cells by reducing the size of cancer cells before surgery or by stopping their growth after surgery.
  • Improve your quality of life. Even if it is not possible to cure certain cancer cases, radiation therapy may still offer improvement in symptoms and provide relief from pain and discomfort.

The broad term “radiation therapy” covers many different treatments. For example, you may hear radiation therapy referred to as radiation oncology, X-ray, cobalt, or irradiation therapy. The therapy is given in doses measured in grays or centigrays via treatments over a period of several weeks.

Research Collaboration / Clinical Trials Treatment Planning & Simulation Internal Radiation Therapy External Beam Radiation Therapy

As always, your doctor will coordinate your care. You will also work closely with the specialists – such as radiation oncologists or radiation therapists – who administer the treatment. Prior to your treatment, your team will take precise measurements of where the radiation therapy will be given. For radiation therapy given to the outside of your body, the specialist may even draw special, temporary markings on your skin to guide them and the instruments they use.

Generally, you will not feel anything during the treatment, and many people are able to arrange their treatment around their work schedule or other daily commitments. Some people who receive radiation treatment recommend getting the procedure early in the morning, leaving the rest of the day for other activities.

Texas Oncology offers patients an arsenal of the most effective, leading-edge radiation therapies; see a snapshot of the technologies available.