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​External beam radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) directs a beam of radiation from outside the body at cancerous tissues inside the body. It is a cancer treatment option that uses doses of radiation to destroy cancerous cells and shrink tumors.

Using a special X-ray machine called a linear accelerator, EBRT delivers high-energy rays to tumors. The machine delivers radiation from any angle and shapes radiation beams to the contour of the tumor. The machine moves around the body without touching the patient, aiming radiation at the cancer. EBRT targets a tumor with higher, more precise doses of radiation, while reducing damage to healthy tissue and nearby organs. As a result, EBRT may help reduce the risk of side effects associated with traditional radiation treatment.

The length of your treatment depends on many factors, including your type and stage of cancer. EBRT may be administered over a period of two to 10 weeks. Patients typically receive treatment once a day for five days in a row, generally Monday through Friday. Each treatment lasts a few minutes and is performed as an outpatient procedure.

Types of EBRT include: