Radiation therapy, the careful and precise use of high-energy radiation to target tumors or diseased areas of the body, has advanced dramatically over the years, becoming safer and more effective.
Besides curing cancer, radiation therapy can shrink tumors that press against bones, nerves or organs. It may also be used before surgery to reduce a tumor, or after surgery to stop the growth of remaining cancer cells.
About two-thirds of patients diagnosed with cancer are candidates for radiation therapy. Generally, a course of therapy takes four to six weeks to complete.
Piedmont is committed to a team approach to radiation treatment. A radiation oncologist (a doctor who specializes in using radiation to treat cancer) prescribes the type and amount of treatment that is right for the patient. He/she works with other specialists to administer the appropriate treatment, including a radiation physicist, who makes sure that the equipment is working properly and that the machines deliver the right dose of radiation; a dosimetrist, who works under the direction of your doctor and the radiation physicist and calculates the amount of radiation to be delivered; a radiation therapist, who positions the patient for treatments and operates the equipment that delivers the radiation; and a radiation nurse, who coordinates patient care, helps educate the patient and his/her family about treatment, and explains how to manage side effects.
Our radiation program is one of the broadest and best established in the state with 25 years of continuous approval from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. More than 1,000 patients are treated each year through the Piedmont Healthcare system.