Making a Difference with Experience and Technology
Beating cancer can require one treatment method, or several. At AdventHealth Cancer Care, patients benefit from the expertise of a physician team comprised of whatever medical specialties are needed to win the battle against cancer. A radiation oncologist may be a key member of that team.
The Role of the Radiation Oncologist
A radiation oncologist specializes in using radiation, or high-energy rays or particles, to kill cancer cells. He or she designs a radiation cancer treatment plan specific to each patient and ensures it is carried out as prescribed.
As one of Florida’s most experienced radiotherapy teams, AdventHealth Cancer Care specialists treat more than 3,500 patients, delivering more than 200,000 radiation procedures each year. They use precise, sophisticated radiation therapy technologies for both treatment planning and treatment execution.
What You Can Expect From the Radiation Oncologist
During your first visit, one of our radiation oncologists will review your medical history and perform a physical exam to determine the extent of the disease. He or she will explain the benefits of radiation therapy in the management of cancer in conjunction with other medical specialists. We’ll work with your referring physician and a team of cancer specialists to create a customized plan for you, discuss alternatives and explain potential side effects of complications you may experience.
Cutting-Edge Radiation Therapy Technologies
The Radiation Oncology Program is dedicated to providing the most-advanced treatment available to cancer patients in the area.
- External Beam Radiation Therapy delivers high doses of radiation from an external radiation source which specifically targets the affected cancer site and minimizes the dose to surrounding normal tissue. Techniques include:
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – A non-invasive, outpatient procedure that enables physicians to treat head and brain lesions without the risks of surgery and with minimal effect on surrounding normal tissue. SRS maximizes patient comfort and can be used to treat lesions that were previously considered inaccessible or were treated unsuccessfully by conventional surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
- Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) – When stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is performed on areas in the body other the brain, this procedure is sometimes called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) or stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR). Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a non-surgical cancer treatment that delivers extremely precise doses of radiation to cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. SBRT uses advanced image guidance that pinpoints the exact three-dimensional location of the tumor so that the radiation can be more precisely delivered to the targeted cancer cells. SBRT is typically used to treat early stage lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, or cancers that has spread to the lung, liver, adrenal gland, or spine.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) combines the highest level of patient comfort with fewer side effects than standard radiation therapy. It is a highly precise radiation instrument that spares normal tissue, allows for superior dosing and treats tumors near critical areas.
- Electron Beam Therapy uses electrons to allow the physician to treat shallow areas without delivering significant radiation to underlying normal tissues.
- Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) – Offering a state-of-the-art delivery system, IGRT enables doctors to choose the most appropriate treatment method for treating cancer in the body, head or neck. It delivers the full spectrum of treatments, all on one machine.
- Respiratory Gating pinpoints the tumor position, which is important because they can move several centimeters during a patient’s normal breathing cycle.
- Computer-Assisted Robotic Positioning – Pinpoints a tumor’s exact location and determines if a tumor has moved since the last treatment. Treatment can be delivered through:
- TrueBeam™ Radiation Technology — One of the latest advances in our cancer-fighting arsenal is the TrueBeam™ Linear Accelerator, a noninvasive, image-guided radiosurgery system that uses 3-D imagery to target tumors within millimeters. The device monitors over 100,000 data points during treatment, assuring greater accuracy, while also helping protect surrounding healthy tissues and organs. During the treatment, TrueBeam™ rotates around the patient to deliver hundreds of concentrated and precise beams of radiation that target tumors quickly and accurately, from nearly any angle.
- RapidArc® Radiotherapy Technology — An advanced form of IMRT that delivers a precisely-sculpted 3-D dose of radiation in a single or multi-arc treatment. Unlike conventional IMRT treatments, during which the machine must rotate several times around the patient or make repeated stops and starts to treat the tumor from a number of different angles, RapidArc® can deliver the dose to the entire tumor in a 360-degree rotation, typically in less than two minutes. RapidArc® uses special software and an advanced linear accelerator to deliver IMRT treatments up to eight times faster than what was previously possible.
- Electronic Brachytherapy Approach for breast cancer by bringing a concentrated dose of radiation directly to the tumor site in one treatment during surgery.
3-D Simulation and Treatment Planning: This computerized planning technique utilizes three-dimensional imaging to visualize the tumor and critical structures so that an optimal treatment plan can be designed.
Multi-modality Image Fusion
A computerized planning technique that electronically incorporates anatomical data from different imaging modalities (such as CT, MRI, PET); this approach provides more clinical information for treatment planning than any single modality.