External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) uses highly sophisticated systems to irradiate tumors from outside the body. It is a powerful weapon against many different types of cancer. In some cases EBRT is applied as a standalone therapy. In others, it is recommended either before or after surgery.
If you and your 21st Century Oncology team decide on EBRT, there are several different technology options available. These are:
While these different therapies may share similar features and benefits, each is particularly effective against or suitable for certain tumors. Which one is best for you will depend primarily on the type, location and stage of your cancer.
EBRT begins with a process called simulation to determine the best treatment plan for the particular form of cancer and the stage of your tumor. Your 21st Century team will use imaging, typically from computed tomography (CT) scans, to get a detailed view of your internal organs and tumor. They may also use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), position emission tomography (PET) scans or ultrasound scans. A sophisticated computer then calculates the angle of the radiation beams targeting the tumor and the optimal radiation dose for your individual treatment plan.
During each External Beam Radiation Therapy session you will lie on the treatment table and your Radiation Therapist will use sophisticated imaging to confirm your position. The radiation delivery system then aims radiation beams at the tumor. Sessions last only a few minutes, require no sedation and are pain-free. The number of sessions you will need depends on the specific EBRT treatment option, the size of the tumor, its location and stage.