Radiation therapy, also known Radiotherapy, uses various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and other diseases. It works by causing changes in the DNA within cancer cells (damages that cause cancer cells to die) by allowing the body to naturally remove them. Although neighboring tissues can be affected by radiation, normal cells have the inherent ability to repair themselves in a way that cancer cells cannot. This fact, combined with state-of-the art precision in radiation delivery, allows treatments to optimize radiation doses to the cancer and tumor cells, minimizing exposure to normal organs and tissues.
Radiation is delivered by a team of medical professionals with the Radiation Oncologists being the physicians that lead the radiation team. During the initial patient consultation, expectations regarding duration of treatment and outcomes are given. The actual treatment planning by medical physicists and dosimetrists then takes place through the application of sophisticated computer algorithms to ensure the highest degree of accuracy and normal tissue tolerance. Daily weekday treatments, usually over a two to nine week period, are given by the Radiation Therapy Technologists, who work closely with the Radiation Oncologists.