Radiation therapy injures or destroys cells in the areas being treated by damaging the cells' genetic material, thus making it impossible for the cells to continue to divide and spread.
Two common types of radiation therapy used in the treatment of cancer are external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy. Aultman now offers a new form of treatment called Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy.
External beam radiation therapy is generally delivered by a high-energy linear accelerator in the form of either X-rays or electrons.
Brachytherapy is an outpatient procedure used in the treatment of different kinds of cancer. Radioactive "seeds" are carefully placed inside of the cancerous tissue and positioned in a manner that will attack the cancer most efficiently. Each radioactive seed is about the size of a grain of rice and gives off radiation that travels only a few millimeters to kill nearby cancer cells.
Intracavity irradiation is often used in the treatment of patients with cancer of the cervix and uterus. Interstitial irradiation is used to treat certain head, neck and prostate cancers.
For more information, contact the Radiation Oncology Department at 330-363-6201.