A website to provide support for people who have or have had any type of cancer, for their caregivers and for their family members.


Types of Radiation Delivery

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Modern external radiotherapy is delivered in many ways, each with advantages and disadvantages.
  • 3-Dimensional Conformal RT
    The tumor is measured in 3-dimensions and a radiation pattern is computed in software and beamed at the tumor by an X-ray emitter that circles the patient, minimizing the radiation to surrounding tissues. The beams can be shaped in real time to match the shape of the tumor in the current direction of treatment. This is an improvement over 2-D X-ray RT where radiation was beamed at the tumor from only 2 directions.
  • Image Guided RT
    Image Guided RT is similar to 3DCRT except that additional scans are taken before and during the RT process to more accurately position the patient and minimize the dose to surrounding tissues.
  • 4-Dimensional RT
    Similar to IGRT, but imaging during the process monitors the movement of the tumor in real time, such as the prostate adjacent to the bladder, or lung tumors that move when the patient is breathing.
  • Intensity Modulated RT
    The beam direction and intensity is varied to concentrate the beam on the tumor. It can be used in head and neck tumors to avoid collateral damage to the brain or spinal cord.
  • Stereotactic RT
    This uses a large number of beams from different directions each with low radiation to give a high dose of radiation to the tumor.
  • Proton Bean RT
    Proton beams scatter less than photons and can target the tumor more accurately. It is an expensive process used when the tumor needs very high doses of radiation and the surrounding tissues must be protected, as in children.
  • Electron Beam RT
    Electron beams do not penetrate very deeply and are used for skin or superficial cancers.

Hopefully this list and description will help patients in the market for radiotherapy to know what they can get and are getting. If a hospital only has one of these machines, that is likely the type of radiation you will get unless you shop around.

More information here.

Updated 02-17-2017 at 03:13 PM by ddessert