Radiation Therapy as Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy, also known as radiation oncology, is one of a number of ways to treat cancer at Loyola Medicine. Radiation kills cancer cells by using high-powered energy beams either from a machine outside your body (external beam radiation) or within your body (brachytherapy). It can be used alone or in combination with cancer surgery or chemotherapy.
Loyola’s highly trained radiation oncology faculty and staff perform the most advanced radiation treatments available. Using the latest research and cutting-edge technology, our goal is to remove your tumor, reduce cancer symptoms, minimize side effects and improve cancer survival.
In addition to treating patients with cancer, our oncology doctors also perform ongoing cancer research and teach medical students at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Why Choose Loyola Medicine for Radiation Therapy?
Loyola’s radiation oncologists and staff are uniquely trained to perform the most advanced radiation treatments available. With cutting-edge technology, your cancer team can visualize your tumor and target the cancer as precisely as possible, which gives us the best possible chance to remove your tumor. The equipment’s precision also avoids healthy tissue, which minimizes side effects and reduces cancer symptoms, allowing you to feel better faster.
Our dedication to research means we are always looking for the newest and most successful cancer treatments to improve cancer survival.
What Does Radiation Therapy Do?
Radiation oncologists at Loyola are specially trained to deliver the right dose of radiation with the right technology for your unique cancer or tumor. Through precise measurements and advanced equipment, our doctors can identify the exact location of your tumor and target radiation to its specific size, shape and location.
With this treatment, we can minimize damage to the healthy cells around your tumor, reduce side effects and give you the best cancer survival results.
Radiation therapy at Loyola is most often used to treat these cancer types:
- Brain and spine cancer
- Breast cancer
- Gastric cancers, including colorectal cancer and liver cancer
- Gynecologic cancers, including cervical cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
Radiation therapy can also be used to treat noncancerous tumors, such as pituitary tumors.
Specialized Radiation Treatments
Loyola offers the most advanced radiation therapy treatments, including:
- 3D conformal radiation therapy
- Brachytherapy, including high-dose-rate and low-dose-rate
- External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Intrabeam intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT)
- Prostate brachytherapy (prostate seed implant)
- Stereotactic radiosurgery, including unfractionated and fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery
- Stereotactic radiotherapy, or stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
- Total body irradiation
Radiation Therapy Research
Ongoing radiation treatment research at Loyola includes the following studies:
- Combined chemoradiotherapy to treat breast cancer, gastric cancers, head and neck cancer, lymphoma and lung cancer
- Dose escalation for various cancers using 3D conformal radiation therapy
- Prevention of dry mouth in patients with head and neck cancer
We are also beginning to use radiation therapy to manage some benign diseases. Learn more about our cancer research.