Among the most common and effective cancer treatments, radiation therapy is prescribed in more than half of all cancer cases. It works by utilizing a stream of high-energy particles or waves to destroy cancer cells. Accredited by the American College of Radiology, Chilton's Radiation Oncology department features Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which delivers precise doses of radiation directly into the tumor while sparing surrounding tissue. The department also offers prostate seed implant therapy, through which tiny, low-energy radioactive pellets are implanted into the prostate to eradicate tumors.
Very few community hospitals across the country offer IMRT, one of the latest state-of-the-art technologies used to target and treat cancerous tumors, but Chilton Hospital does.
More than half of all people diagnosed with cancer undergo radiation therapy. If a radiation dose is too low, a tumor can grow back quickly. If it is too high, it can damage surrounding tissue, possibly harming organ, sensory or motor function.
Conventional Radiation Therapy, which uses large beams of constant, uniform intensity to kill cancerous cells, may damage healthy tissue in their path. That is why Dov Gorshein, MD, chairman of the Chilton Hospital Cancer Committee, considers IMRT to be a more effective procedure.
"Very simply, IMRT is one of the most significant breakthroughs in radiation treatment for cancer in years," Dr. Gorshein said. "It allows for pinpoint accuracy in targeting tumors, is an effective non-invasive alternative to surgery, and allows patients to recover more quickly."
IMRT allows physicians to deliver radiation to a cancerous tumor through multiple beams of varying intensity that intersect on the tumor and kill cancer cells or damage them to prevent their growth or spread. IMRT beams can be precise within a millimeter in targeting just the tumor, allowing physicians to treat even previously inoperable, unusual-shaped tumors near critical structures such as the spinal cord and delicate organs such as the eye.
For more information about Chilton's Cancer Center, please call (973) 831-5306.