At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our state-of-the-art Department of Radiation Oncology brings our patients leading radiation technologies. The department consists of a group of experienced cancer experts. Here, radiation oncologists work hand-in-hand with other departments, including the Department of Radiology & Imaging, to deliver advanced cancer treatment.
Our radiation oncologists use a variety of advanced technologies to deliver maximum radiation doses to tumors, with less damage to healthy tissues and organs. By focusing the radiation directly on the tumor, there is a lower risk of side effects. We also provide relief of certain cancer-related symptoms.
If radiation therapy is part of your treatment plan, you'll meet with your radiation oncologist to discuss the specific therapies available. Your radiation oncologist will thoroughly review your medical history, imaging and diagnostic tests (e.g., CT scans, PET/CT scans, MRIs).
Factors he or she will also consider include the type of cancer you have; the size of the tumor and its location; whether you’ve undergone previous treatments, and if so, what the dosage of radiation was; as well as if you have additional medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease).
Advanced radiation therapies and technologies
We are committed to bringing advanced treatment options to patients sooner, including safer, more targeted radiation therapies. Our advanced radiation program often provides treatment options to patients who have reached their maximum tolerance dosage of traditional radiation.
Since each cancer type requires a different approach, your treatment plan will be based on your unique needs and treatment goals. Radiation treatments may be included in your individualized treatment plan as:
- A primary treatment
- Combined with other treatments, like chemotherapy, to fight against the growth of new cancer cells
- Before surgery to shrink a tumor
- After surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells
- As a treatment for cancer that has spread to other areas of the body
- As a palliative treatment to relieve pain
Throughout your care, the radiation oncology team will take time to answer your questions so you can feel comfortable with your treatment.
Your well-being is at the center of everything we do. In addition to our leading radiation technologies, you’ll be treated by a team of clinicians from areas like nutrition therapy and oncology rehabilitation, all working together to meet your needs throughout treatment. This approach helps us plan for any side effects from the start, and quickly address any symptoms you may experience.
Explore the radiation therapies CTCA® offers.
Innovations in radiation therapy
Many patients come to Southwestern with complex and advanced stage cancers. In addition, many others have been previously treated with traditional radiation and cannot tolerate more radiation exposure.
Our radiation oncologists use image guidance before and during radiation treatment to deliver maximum radiation doses to tumors, with less impact on healthy tissues and organs. Our highly targeted radiation technologies focus radiation directly on tumors to help minimize the risk of side effects commonly associated with standard radiation treatment.
Improving quality of life
As you undergo radiation treatment, other members of your care team will work with you to reduce any unpleasant side effects and help improve your quality of life.
In addition to your oncologists, your care team will include dietitians, naturopathic clinicians, pain management practitioners, mind-body therapists, rehabilitation therapists and pastoral care staff. Each clinical area has something different to contribute to your quality of life.
For example, as you undergo radiation treatments, your mind-body therapist may offer relaxation techniques to help reduce your anxiety. If you find it painful to lie on the radiation table while receiving treatment, your pain management practitioner will try to manage your pain to make you more comfortable.