Caring and professional, the radiation oncology team at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center makes your comfort and education our top priority. Accredited by the American College of Radiology for Radiation Therapy, ARMC’s radiation oncology department gives patients access to comprehensive and advanced treatment options, such as:
These and other technologies enable surgeons and radiation oncologists to pinpoint cancerous tissue—to maximize treatment effectiveness while minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissue.
A dedicated multidisciplinary team consisting of radiation oncologists, physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, oncology-certified nurses, dieticians and social workers are on-site at AtlantiCare to help patients through their procedures. Most patients receive radiation therapy on an outpatient basis, so they can recover in the comfort of their own homes with as little disruption to work and leisure as possible.
Radiation therapy, including IMRT, stops cancer cells from dividing and growing, thus slowing tumor growth. In many cases, radiation therapy is capable of killing cancer cells, thus shrinking or eliminating tumors. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a way to deliver very targeted and precisely defined doses of radiation to tumors. IMRT can produce fewer side effects than traditional radiation therapy because it spares more healthy tissue. This allows radiation oncology professionals to deliver higher, more effective doses of radiation more safely.
Treatment is carefully planned using 3-D computed tomography (CT) images of the patient combined with computerized dose calculations to find the dose intensity pattern that best suits the shape of the tumor. Radiation beams can be custom tailored by intensity and direction to ensure they’re hitting the tumor where they will have the greatest impact.
IMRT is used to treat such cancers as prostate, head and neck, breast, lung and others as appropriate.
At ARMC, patients have an entire team of radiation oncology professionals working for them. This team includes the radiation oncologist, medical radiation physicist, dosimetrist, radiation therapist and radiation therapy nurse.
The radiation oncologist, a specially trained physician who heads the treatment team, sets an individualized course of treatment with the help of the radiation physicist, who ensures the linear accelerator delivers the precise radiation dose and that computerized dose calculations are accurate. A dosimetrist, under the supervision of the medical radiation physicist, calculates the radiation exposures and beam configurations necessary to deliver the dose prescribed by the radiation oncologist. A highly trained radiation therapist positions the patient on the treatment table and operates the machine. The radiation therapy nurse provides the patient with information about the treatment and possible adverse reactions.
Treatment sessions usually take between 15 and 30 minutes. Usually, patients are scheduled for radiation sessions five days a week for six to 10 weeks. At the beginning of the treatment session, the therapist positions the patient on the treatment table, guided by the marks on the skin defining the treatment area. Sometimes, molded casts are made to help patients stay in position during the radiation.Back to top
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