Radiation oncology is a cancer care field that focuses on using radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be delivered from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy) or from radioactive material placed in the body near cancer cells (internal radiation therapy, more commonly called brachytherapy). Systemic radiation therapy is another option that uses a radioactive substance, given by mouth or into a vein that travels in the blood to tissues throughout the body. Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) in Chicago offers advanced radiation treatment options for a wide range of cancers, including but not limited to breast, lung, colorectal, and prostate.
Led by Medical Director of Radiation Oncology Dr. Kamal Patel, radiation oncologists at our Chicago hospital meet with many cancer patients whose treatment options may include radiation therapy. Our radiation oncologists thoroughly review each patient’s medical history, imaging reports (e.g., CT scans, PET/CT scans, MRIs) and perform extensive examinations. These critical steps help the care team formulate treatment recommendations for each patient. Together, the clinicians consult with, educate and empower patients to make informed decisions about their treatment. At CTCA®, the various members of the care team take time to talk with patients in detail about their diagnosis and treatment options, and answer any questions.
Many questions can arise about possible side effects and the options available for managing them. Because radiation therapy can cause side effects by damaging normal, healthy cells near the tumor, it is important to address these challenges early in the treatment journey. With years of experience and training, the radiation oncologists at our hospital, located in Zion, Illinois, are also well-versed in treatment-related side effects. They collaborate with supportive care clinicians to help patients reduce and manage side effects of radiation.