Radiation Therapy - Radiation Oncology
With over 20 years of proven experience in providing radiation therapy, OSF Saint Anthony's Health Center in Alton, Illinois offers state-of-the-art radiation oncology services including:
- IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Technology)
- Superficial Therapy
- Linear Accelerator-based External Beam Therapy
Additionally, high-tech procedures are available which allow the radiation oncologists to treat the cancer tissue, while neighboring tissue is minimally affected.
Radiation therapy is under the medical leadership of James Piephoff, M.D., Board Certified Radiation Oncologist.
Approximately one-third to one-half of all cancer patients will receive radiation therapy, an effective way to treat many kinds of cancer in nearly any part of the body. Radiation therapy may also be used to relieve some symptoms of cancer, such as pain, headache or bleeding. Radiation therapy utilizes x-rays generated from machines called linear accelerators to create chemical changes within the tumor cells. These x-rays are aimed at the cancerous cells in an effort to prevent the cells from continued division. Eventually, this kills the cells.
In our Radiation Oncology department, you will receive radiation therapy from our state-of-the-art linear accelerator - the Varian 2100 C/D. This machine produces a choice of photon (x-ray) or electron beams. Included is the choice of two energies of photon and five energies of electron beams.
Radiation therapy is a carefully planned and monitored process. An enormous amount of work is involved behind the scenes before a patient has his/her first treatment. Our Radiation Oncologists use information gathered from x-rays, MRI and CT scans, bone scans, etc., to determine where the radiation should be delivered. Through the use of the latest 3-Dimension treatment planning systems, CT data can now be reconstructed into a 3-D model of the patient. This allows the physician to locate and treat disease with better visualization and accuracy than ever before. This new technology can provide for more complex treatment regimes and aids in protection of healthy tissue.
Radiation may also be given in the form of placing radioactive materials in sealed containers next to cancerous tissues. This is known as brachytherapy. Also, in certain instances, radioactive substances are injected into the bloodstream or taken by mouth to treat specific types of cancer.