Radiation Therapies

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

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 / 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.

Radiation Therapy Cancer Treatments

Learn more about radiation therapy cancer treatments available at Optim Oncology

Radiation Therapy

Your Radiation Therapy Appointment Your Radiation Therapy Appointment

If your oncology team determines that radiation therapy would be a beneficial part of your cancer treatment, you will have a consultation with the Radiation Oncologist. During that appointment you will be able to discuss the recommended radiation therapy and its side effects. You and your radiation oncologist will work together to determine what would be best for you.

External Radiation

If external beam radiation is part of your cancer treatment plan, you will go through a treatment planning process. This is so that the radiation is delivered exactly where it needs to go. During this process, a CT scan of the treatment area will be performed. In addition to the CT scan, an MRI or a PET scan may also be scheduled to provide as much information to your oncologist as possible. Based on what they see they can determine the amount of radiation needed and where to direct the beams to be most accurate. You may also have a device created for you so that you’re sure to be in the exact same position every time. Temporary skin marks and even very small tattoo markings can be used to help with positioning you in the same place as well.

Internal Radiation / Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy uses a device to deliver small radioactive particles to the cancer inside the body. A device will be inserted and left in place for a period of time (minutes to days depending on the type of cancer) or the device can deliver the radioactive material and is then removed while the radiation is slowly delivered directly to the tumor.

There are several types of cancer that commonly use brachytherapy treatments including:

  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Skin Cancer

Whether you are going to have internal or external radiation therapy you will meet the radiation therapists who will handle the treatment for each session. Your team of oncologists, therapists and nurses will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have during this process.