External Beam Radiation Therapy
We use the latest technologies to deliver higher doses of radiation with increased accuracy enabling faster treatments for patients.
External beam radiation therapy is used to treat many types of cancers. The radiation comes from a machine outside the body, often using a machine called a linear accelerator. External radiation treatments are usually given daily over several weeks. External beam radiation therapy at Winship Cancer Institute may include IMRT, TrueBeam or RapidArc. These technologies offer all the benefits of conventional radiation therapy in dramatically shorter treatment times.
RapidArc® is commonly used to treat cancers of the prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancerous tumors. The precise imaging technology and control of the dose of radiation allows doctors to avoid more healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. For prostate patients, for example, this means reducing the potential for damage to the bladder, rectum and seminal vesicles, and lowering the probability of incontinence or impotence, two potential side effects of treatment.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) uses computer-generated images to plan and then deliver even more tightly focused radiation beams to cancerous tumors than is possible with conventional therapy. Benefits to patients include reduced side effects and complications of radiation therapy, and in some cases greater probability of cure due to increased radiation dose to the tumor. IMRT helps radiation oncologists achieve increased precision during treatment while minimizing radiation exposure to the surrounding normal tissues.
Radiation can be used as a stand-alone treatment, and often it is the only treatment needed. Radiation is also used in combination with surgery, chemotherapy and other targeted therapies. For example, doctors can use radiation before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to stop the growth of remaining cancer cells.
Visit Winship Cancer Institute to explore all our multidisciplinary treatment options at Emory University.