External Beam Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy kills cancer cells using high-energy X-rays. External beam radiation delivers radiation using machines that target the x-rays at your cancer from outside of your body.
Experienced in external beam radiation treatment
At Washington Cancer Institute, we are skilled in using a variety of advanced external beam radiation methods to attack your cancer. We will work with you to determine the treatment method that will be most beneficial for you.
External beam radiation therapy methods at Washington Cancer Institute
External beam radiation therapies we use include:
3D Conformal Radiotherapy
3D Conformal Radiotherapy is a radiation therapy technique that sculpts radiation beams to the shape of a tumor. This is ideal for tumors that have irregular shapes, or for those that lie close to healthy tissues and organs. We view a tumor in three dimensions with the help of imaging. Based on the dosimetry plan, we then deliver radiation beams from several directions to the tumor.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
This method uses devices that allow the radiation beamlets (tiny beams) to move and change intensity, depending on the type of tissue they are targeting. This flexibility allows different areas of a tumor to receive different amounts of radiation, and helps protect healthy tissue from unnecessary radiation exposure.
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
IGRT uses high-quality imaging technology to create pictures of a tumor during the radiation procedure. Using these images, your radiation oncology team carefully adjusts radiation beams and doses to best fit the size, shape and location of the tumor, while sparing normal tissues, during your treatment session. IGRT is not a treatment; it is an imaging method that guide the radiation beams to target your tumor.
Stereotactic radiosurgery, or radiotherapy (SBRT)
SBRT uses imaging technology to pinpoint the location of a tumor, including its motion, and deliver very high doses of radiation directly to it, without affecting surrounding healthy tissue. Since the tumor may move with breathing, we can minimize the area treated by delivering doses in between breaths. This process is called gating.
Learn more about how we use external beam radiation to treat:
For more information or appointments, please call 202-877-DOCS (3627).
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