Radiation Therapy in the Chicago, IL Area
Radiation therapy covers many methods of using radiation to destroy cancer cells. Generally, these treatments are divided into two categories: external and internal.
Advanced external and internal radiation therapies fight cancer with relatively few side effects — generally just fatigue.
External Radiation Therapy
The most well known type of external treatment is external-beam radiation therapy. Using a linear accelerator machine, we direct photons at your tumor, damaging each individual cell’s DNA. This damage either kills the cell or prevents it from reproducing. External-beam radiation therapy takes place over a number of weeks to allow your healthy tissue to heal.
Unfortunately, radiation doesn’t discriminate between cancer and healthy cells, so we must take special measures to preserve healthy tissue. Some of the technology we use to ensure therapeutic precision and maximize outcomes includes:
- Image guidance (IGRT) – Advanced imaging before, after and even during your procedure provides the pinpoint accuracy necessary to fight your cancer.
- 3D conformal – By conforming the radiation beam to the exact shape of your tumor, we minimize exposure to healthy tissue.
- Intensity modulation (IMRT) – By adjusting the intensity of the radiation beam during treatment, we can further optimize your therapy.
- Stereotactic radiation (SRS/SBRT) – Directing the radiation beam at the tumor from dozens of angles provides maximum exposure to your tumor while reducing damage to healthy tissue. A form of external-beam therapy, SRS (stereotactic radiosurgery) offers a higher-dose treatment over far fewer treatment sessions, maximizing your convenience.
Internal Radiation Therapy
The most common form of internal radiation therapy is brachytherapy, which involves placing short-range radioactive material next to or inside of a tumor. However, another form of internal therapy is called radioisotope therapy. This involves a liquid form of radiation administered through infusion (IV) or injection. For example, we can precisely target thyroid cancer using radioactive iodine because your thyroid naturally captures the iodine in your body. After quickly concentrating in your thyroid, the radioactive iodine then destroys nearby cancer cells.
Our certified, well-trained and experienced radiation team keeps you safe and maximizes your outcomes.
Administering radiation is complicated and requires a team of experts to maximize the damage to your tumor while minimizing harm to healthy cells. Each radiation treatment may involve a:
- Radiation oncologist – Determines whether radiation therapy is appropriate, prescribes the dose of radiation and oversees the entire treatment process.
- Medical physicist – Ensures you receive the correct radiation dose by checking the accuracy of the computer’s dosage calculations.
- Dosimetrist – Works with the medical physicist to configure the radiation beam to deliver the proper dose of radiation.
- Radiation therapist – Properly positions the patient for treatment and operates the machine.
- Radiation therapy nurse – Helps the patient by providing additional information and managing any side effects.
By choosing Alpha Med Cancer Center for your radiation therapy, you’ll receive first-rate care while avoiding the inconvenience and high costs of hospital-based care.
For more information on radiation therapy in Tinley Park, Homewood, or Palos Heights, Illinois, or to schedule an appointment, call 708-928-5040. You can also request an appointment using our easy online form on this page.