Radiation oncology is a field of cancer care that uses radiation therapy, or high-energy radiation, to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells. The goal of radiation therapy is to spare damage to normal, healthy cells whenever possible while targeting radiation doses directly to tumors. Radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with other cancer treatment options. Radiation therapy timing often depends on the type of cancer being treated, the location of the tumor and the goal of treatment.
A radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in treating cancer using radiation therapy, including high-energy radiation and/or radioactive substances. At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our radiation oncologists are experienced in using advanced technologies to deliver targeted radiation therapy while also proactively managing side effects. Radiation oncologists at CTCA® determine the precise type, dose and placement of radiation, administer the radiation, and monitor the number and length of treatments. Radiation therapy may be delivered by a machine outside the body (external radiation) or from radioactive material placed directly into or near a tumor (internal radiation).
Our radiation oncologists work closely with you and the rest of your care team to deliver radiation therapy based on your individual needs. Throughout your treatment, your radiation oncologist will monitor how the radiation therapy is working and modify your treatment plan accordingly.
Sometimes radiation therapy can cause side effects, such as skin changes, fatigue and nausea, depending on the part of your body being treated. During your radiation treatment, clinicians who offer a variety of integrative oncology services will work with you to manage side effects and improve your quality of life.