Radiation therapy is one of several treatments used to effectively treat cancer. It can be used alone or in combination with other forms of treatment, such as chemotherapy. Radiation works by delivering a therapeutic dose of ionizing radiation to the tumor tissue. New techniques have allowed it to be delivered precisely, with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
External beam radiation can deliver intense treatments with pinpoint accuracy. This form of radiation therapy is non-invasive and painless. The radiation oncologist will determine the number and frequency of treatments based on your needs. The typical course of treatment is administered and delivered daily, over a two to eight week period.
Radiation therapy is most often used to cure cancer but can also be used for palliative care. Radiation therapy used palliatively is an effective way to reduce pain, pressure, bleeding or to control the growth of a tumor in a localized area.
Yuma Regional Cancer Center also uses RapidArc® radiotherapy technology to deliver a highly focused dose of radiation, directly to a tumor. In most cases, treatment takes less than two minutes. This approach delivers image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Three-dimensional image guidance improves tumor targeting, and IMRT shapes the radiation dose so that it conforms closely to the 3-D shape of the tumor. That means more dose directly to the tumor, and less to surrounding healthy tissues. The entire treatment is completed with a single rotation of the machine.