Radiation Technology
 
 

Radiation Technology

BayCare offers a wide variety of radiation treatments to cancer patients. Our skilled radiation oncologists cater treatment plans to each individual patient for the best possible outcome. The following treatments are used to target the cancer cells without harming the healthy tissue and organs surrounding it.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, commonly known as IMRT, is a very sophisticated type of radiation therapy. IMRT allows physicians to deliver cancer killing radiation doses to a specific target area. The main advantage of this treatment is the ability to spare the surrounding healthy tissue, thereby reducing side effects.

Brachytherapy has been used primarily on prostate cancer patients on an outpatient basis. Also known as “interstitial radiation”, brachytherapy is the permanent implantation radioactive seeds into the prostate gland under ultrasound guidance while under anesthesia. Approximately 80-100 seeds are implanted at any one time. Each seed is about four millimeters long and less than a millimeter in diameter. This treatment delivers a prescribed dose of radiation directly to the cancer cells, which decreases the risk of radiating surrounding tissues or organs. In certain situations, both prostate brachytherapy and external radiation many be recommended.

Radiopharmaceutical therapy uses radioactive isotopes to treat certain cancers. Commonly referred to as systemic radiation therapy, the radioactive isotopes may be taken orally or intravenously. For example, radioactive iodine (I-131) capsules are given to patients to treat some types of thyroid cancer. The treatment is best used intravenously when treating pain due to cancer that has spread to the bone.

Because of the irregular shape of most tumors, it is difficult for physicians to directly target the whole area without compromising the healthy tissue and organs around it. Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, or 3D-CRT, uses sophisticated computers and computerized axial tomograms scans or CAT scans to create detailed, 3D representations of the tumor and surrounding organs. The radiation oncologist can then fit the radiation beams to the exact size and shape of the tumor. The directed beams decrease the risk of radiation exposure to healthy tissue.

Our radiation oncology team is made up of specialized radiation oncologists, nurses, therapists, dosimetrists, and medical physicists who have been trained and educated on the latest advancements in radiation treatments for cancer patients.

For more information, please contact:

Winter Haven Hospital Cassidy Cancer Center
200 Ave. F N.E.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
(863) 293-1121