Your health and wellness are our passion. And with a cancer diagnosis, we stand beside you, delivering every possible treatment to get you well again. At Tower Health, our radiation oncologists use radiation therapy to treat many cancers. We work with other specialists such as nurses, dosimetrists, and surgeons to bring you complete care.
Radiation therapy uses a machine called a linear accelerator to aim high-energy rays at your tumor to destroy, shrink, or reduce certain cancer-related symptoms. And we are precise. That means we will only target radiation therapy to areas where we need to destroy cancer cells.
We often combine radiation therapy with other treatments such as medical and biologic therapies and surgery.
Although radiation therapy is painless, it may cause side effects, and the severity depends on how much radiation is given and the part of your body being treated. And because there are many options for radiation therapy, your team will help you understand your choices and provide education, so you know what to expect.
MRIdian® MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy
One of the newest and most important advances in radiation therapy is the MRIdian® MRI Linear Accelerator at Reading Hospital — the first to be used in Pennsylvania.
The MRIdian® system significantly enhances tumor radiation treatment by precisely targeting the tumor in real-time. This is critical because tumors can shift and move even slightly with subtle natural movements such as when the patient breathes or is digesting food. The MRIdian® offers safer treatment by lessening radiation exposure to healthy tissues and exposure to nearby organs.
3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3DCRT)
This type of radiation treatment involves imaging and a precise radiation dosing calculation that’s tailored to each patient. With this type of therapy, the radiation beams are able to match the shape of the tumor, which reduces radiation exposure to healthy tissues.
3-D conformal radiation therapy has shown benefits and improved outcomes in the brain, head and neck, liver, lung, and prostate cancer.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
This radiation therapy approach to cancer treatment is one of the most advanced treatments available. Because tumors can move during treatment, radiation oncologists can track the tumor during treatment and deliver exact treatment. This type of treatment can work for tumors of the bladder and bowels, where tumors can move more freely because of breathing or other movements.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
IMRT therapy uses computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to create 3D images of the body and tissues affected by cancer. The images help radiation oncologists develop a personalized treatment plan that targets the exact contours of the tumor. This allows for more effective doses of radiation while reducing exposure to healthy tissues. This type of radiation is used to treat prostate, head and neck, digestive, blood, brain, and other cancers.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
This type of radiation therapy has changed the way we treat many cancers, including lung, pancreatic, liver, spine, and head and neck cancers. Patients who have limited treatment options — including patients who are not candidates for surgery or those who already had radiation therapy — may benefit from this radiation therapy. This non-invasive therapy helps reduce the risk of exposure to healthy tissues. Patients can usually expect to have between one and five treatments.
At Tower Health, our radiation oncologists use highly focused, 3D computerized imaging to precisely and safely focus photon beams to deliver radiation. This non-surgical radiation therapy treats small tumors in the brain and spinal cord. Using X-ray beams, it delivers precise targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy. The CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System is a painless, noninvasive, outpatient cancer treatment with minimal to no side effects. Your specialist can zero in on the target tumor and irradiate it without harming the surrounding healthy tissue.
Internal Beam Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy)
Brachytherapy is an advanced internal (implant) radiation therapy procedure that delivers high doses of radiation in a short time, which reduces the risk to other nearby organs. Brachytherapy is sometimes called internal radiation because radiation oncologists place a tiny seed inside the body near the tumor site. We use Brachytherapy to treat cancers of the brain, breast, cervix, lung, pancreas, prostate, skin, and more.
This type of radiation therapy uses radioactive medicine (radioisotopes) to treat cancer. The medicine is delivered orally or injected into a vein or inserted into the body. Our radiation oncologists work with specialists in nuclear medicine to treat many different cancers, including thyroid cancer, brain cancer, and lymphoma.