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Radiation Oncology

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Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

More than half of all cancer patients receive some form of radiation therapy. While a high enough dose of radiation can be effective in eliminating or reducing tumors, the risk of affecting surrounding normal tissue limits the delivery of high radiation doses in many patients.

At The Foley Cancer Center we offer patients the most advanced radiation treatment available, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which is a state-of-the-art radiation delivery system that is used to treat difficult-to-reach tumors. It provides higher dose irradiation of tumor mass, while exposing the surrounding normal tissue to less radiation. IMRT is the most precise, technologically advanced method for treating prostate, head and neck and central nervous system cancers, as well as many others.

How Does IMRT Work?

IMRT uses advanced software to plan a precise dose of radiation, based on tumor size, shape and location. A computer-controlled device, called a linear accelerator, delivers precise doses of radiation to tumors or specific areas within the tumors. With IMRT, radiation oncologists can adjust the intensity of radiation beams across the treatment area as needed with laser accuracy, which results in the delivery of higher radiation doses while minimizing exposure to healthy tissues.

Because of its greater degree of accuracy, IMRT may be a treatment option for patients who have reached the maximum allowable dose of conventional radiation therapy and have a recurrent tumor in the treated area.

Is IMRT Treatment Painful?

Because IMRT is non-invasive, there's no pain during the procedure (though some patients with physical limitations may experience some discomfort when positioned). There is also very little noise, and you won’t spend time inside a small, confining space like other similar treatment options.

It will take about 5 to 15 minutes for your radiation therapist to position you for treatment and set up the equipment as instructed by the radiation oncologist. X-rays will be taken to insure that you are in the proper treatment position. You will be monitored throughout the treatment on a television screen and via voice communication from a nearby control room.

Treatment typically runs five days a week for several weeks, depending on your diagnosis and treatment course.

Advantages of IMRT

There are several advantages to IMRT including higher and more effective radiation doses can safely be delivered to tumors with fewer side effects and reduced treatment toxicity.

RapidArc™ Technology, which is available at Rutland Regional, is an advanced form of IMRT. Unlike traditional IMRT machines that need to rotate and stop around a patient in several positions and be adjusted by a therapist, the RapidArc machine only needs to make one, continuous, 360-degree rotation, helping reduce common side effects like skin damage.

Contact Us

If you have questions or would like to make an appointment, please call us at 802.747.1831

Learn More About the Linear Accelerator

Rutland Regional Medical Center
160 Allen Street
Rutland, VT 05701
802.775.7111

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