A Wide Variety of Tools Helps Us Personalize Radiation Therapy Plans
Almost 6 out of every 10 patients with cancer receives radiation therapy. Most often, doctors prescribe radiation with the intent of treating the cancer. However, even in cases when cancer cannot be treated, radiation therapy can help relieve pain and improve quality of life.
At Central Maryland Radiation Oncology (CMRO), we guide patients through the radiation therapy portion of their treatment journey.
In addition to our leading-edge radiation treatment options, CMRO offers:
- Patient consultations
- Access to clinical trials
- Follow-up care
- Genetic counseling
- Support services
Radiation Therapy Technologies Available in Columbia
Our radiation oncologists have many treatment options and approaches in their toolbox. Deciding which one to use and how to use it depends on many things. However, having several options helps them more precisely tailor treatment to fit your exact needs.
At CMRO, we offer the following radiation therapy technologies and approaches:
- External Beam Radiation, including 3D conformal radiation therapy, IMRT and IGRT
- Stereotactic Radiation Therapy, including stereotactic radiosurgery and SBRT
- Prostate Seed Implants, internal, low dose rate brachytherapy for prostate cancer
- Xofigo Injections, shots given by IV that target prostate cancer that has spread to bones
How Does Radiation Therapy Work?
Radiation therapy involves directing radioactive waves to cancer cells. The radiation scrambles the DNA of the cancer cells. Think of DNA as the code that tells the cell what to do. If the DNA is broken beyond what the cell can repair, the cell will be destroyed.
Thankfully, cancer cells cannot repair broken DNA as well as healthy cells can. Directing radiation at a treatment area harms more cancer cells than healthy ones.
However, to give healthy cells an opportunity to repair themselves during treatment, often a radiation dose is divided into smaller portions called fractions. These fractions are given one at a time. Most patients receive radiation therapy at the same time each day, five days a week, for several weeks.
Even though healthy cells are stronger and are given time to recover, radiation oncologists carefully plan treatment. They use different tools and strategies so the radiation dose concentrates on cancer cells and avoids healthy ones. In some cases, radiation oncologists are able to do both of these things precisely enough to offer treatments that involve high doses of radiation given in fewer sessions.
If you’re looking for top-tier radiation therapy near home, call us for a consultation at 443-546-1300.