We’re changing the way you fight cancer
Our radiation oncology team offers the latest technologies, treatments and clinical advances.
If you have cancer, you will probably receive radiation therapy at some point during your treatment. Nearly two-thirds of all cancer patients do.
At Aurora BayCare, your treatment team is led by a radiation oncologist who uses sophisticated equipment to make sure radiation is delivered directly to your tumor, not your healthy organs. We have the TrueBeam™ advanced radiotherapy system, providing cancer treatment that is faster, more exact, and more customizable for complex tumors.
The TrueBeam system delivers ultra-precise radiation therapy. The TrueBeam can track patient movements and adjust, even compensating for your natural breathing.
Preparing for Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy treatments are generally painless. The most common side effects are skin irritation and fatigue. Many patients are able to continue all (or most) of their normal activities throughout treatment.
For most types of radiation therapy, you will receive a series of treatments. Typically, radiation sessions last less than an hour from start to finish.
If you experience discomfort or other symptoms, tell your radiation oncologist and your nurse. We can help recommend strategies to reduce any side effects.
Radiation Therapy Safety
Radiation is a safe and highly effective cancer treatment. We use state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that radiation treatments focus on your cancer, not healthy organs.
If you receive external radiation (from the TrueBeam system, for example), you will not be radioactive after treatment. For patients who receive certain internal radiation therapies, such as brachytherapy, you may need to take special precautions for a short period of time.
Understanding Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses high energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used on its own, or in combination with chemotherapy, surgery, and other cancer therapies.
Radiation therapy can be classified as external or internal. Most patients receive external radiation therapy, in which a machine outside your body aims radiation at your cancer cells. With internal radiation, radioactive material is placed inside your body to deliver high doses of radiation to a highly localized site.
- Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT): This treatment delivers a concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor site, during surgery, immediately after a cancer tumor has been removed. (Available for breast cancer patients.)
- Brachytherapy: This treatment temporarily places a radioactive implant directly into or close to a cancerous tumor.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): IMRT enables your doctor to customize the amount of radiation that is sent to different parts of your tumor, sparing the surrounding healthy tissue.
- Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT): IGRT uses advanced imaging so doctors can visualize your tumor during treatment, allowing them to target its precise position down to the sub-millimeter.
- Prostate Seed Implantation: A type of low dose brachytherapy, prostate seed implantation places radiation inside the body, close to the cancer cells.
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS): Delivers a high dose of x-ray treatment focused on a precise target in the brain.
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): Similar to SRS, only it targets tumors outside the central nervous system.
- High Dose Rate Radiation (HDR): This internal radiation therapy places a high dose radiation inside the body, near the cancer tumor. This treatment delivers fast, highly localized doses of radiation. This therapy is less toxic to surrounding tissues and may result in fewer side effects.
- SpaceOAR: An FDA-approved spacing device to protect men with prostate cancer from the side effects of radiation treatment. Aurora BayCare is the first in Wisconsin certified to use this cutting-edge hydrogel.