Radiation therapy is precise to the area being treated.
Radiation therapy is one type of cancer treatment your oncologist may recommend as part of the overall cancer treatment plan. Radiation therapy has advanced greatly over the past few decades making it possible to be more precise with fewer side effects.
There are two general categories of radiation therapy available through Optim Oncology’s locations in Oklahoma City area.
- External beam radiation therapy
- Internal radiation therapy, often referred to as brachytherapy
External Beam Radiation Therapy
External beam radiation therapy comes from a machine that aims a beam of radiation at the cancer. The high energy ionizing radiation called photon radiation, is used to shrink the size of the tumor and in many cases provides relief of some cancer symptoms.
This process treats a specific part of the body. For example, if you have lung cancer you will have radiation only directed at where the tumor is in your lung. This reduces the effect on the rest of your body.
External radiation therapy usually lasts only a few minutes while the patient lies very still and is typically a painless process while it’s being given.
Internal Radiation Therapy / Brachytherapy
Internal radiation therapy is a treatment in which a source of radiation is put inside your body to deliver the radiation very directly to the target.
This can be done in a few ways:
- High Dose Radiation (HDR) - This type of brachytherapy is inserted for a shorter period of time -- a few minutes to a few days -- and then the device is removed that delivered the high dose radiation.
- Low Dose Radiation - This type of brachytherapy is inserted into the body and then allowed to slowly deliver the radiation therapy over a longer period of time.
Whether the patient receives low dose or high dose radiation therapy is dependent on the type of cancer and the approved radiation therapy treatments available.