The Radiation Oncology Department at Trinity provides individually oriented, quality care with courtesy and compassion for each patient needing radiation treatment.
What is the Purpose of Radiation Therapy?
The purpose of Radiation Therapy is to stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells (cancer cells). Radiation at high levels destroys the ability of cells to grow and divide. This is accomplished by the use of a beam of radiation aimed directly at the tumor or by radioactive materials placed inside or close to the tumor.
How Does Radiation work?
The radiation is generated by electricity in a machine called a linear accelerator that produces a beam that is very precise and very focused. This beam damages the genetic structure of the tumor cells to stop their growth.
The high-energy beams are invisible to the eye and there is no pain during the procedure. Normal cells as well as cancer cells are affected by radiation treatment, but most normal cells recover quickly.
What is the First Step of Care?
Our specially trained doctors (radiation oncologists) will direct your care. They may order additional x-rays, scans or other tests to pinpoint the area and size of the cancer.
Once this information is gathered, a process called "CT/Simulation" will be performed. A therapist working with your doctor will use a special machine to x-ray the cancer and locate your treatment "port" (the area where the radiation will be aimed).
What Occurs During CT/SIMULATION ?
CT/Simulation takes approximately 30 minutes. Individualized planning of your therapy will follow with the entire process requiring three to five days. A new patient usually receives the first treatment about one week after the initial visit with the radiation oncologist.
What Can I Expect During Treatment?
Treatment usually lasts just minutes, usually given five days a week for several weeks. This schedule helps protect healthy body tissueRadiation Oncology by spreading out the radiation dosage and allowing weekend rest breaks so normal cells can repair and rebuild.
All radiation treatments are performed under the orders of your radiation oncologist who individualizes the treatment program for your specific type of cancer and your body measurements. Specially trained radiation therapists administer each treatment.
A specially trained registered nurse works closely with your radiation oncologist to help you throughout your treatment. The physicist and dosimetrist compute the dosage of radiation to your body and ensure that the machines deliver doses properly. Our secretarial staff will assist in scheduling your appointments and answer billing and insurance questions.