At Great Lakes Cancer Care, our number one priority is curing your cancer. That's why we are always working to have the very latest technology. Better technology leads to better cure rates, shorter treatment times and reduced side effects. It allows us to give you better options, and more of them, when we work with you to create your unique care plan.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is an advanced type of external beam radiation-a treatment option that uses high-energy rays to cure cancer.
IMRT conforms to the shape of your tumor, allowing your doctors to safely and precisely deliver higher doses of radiation to it. To further ensure precision, your radiation oncologist may use Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) along with IMRT. The result can be a higher cure rate. IMRT is an excellent option for many patients for several reasons:
- Spares healthy cells surrounding the tumor
- Often has fewer side effects than conventional radiotherapy techniques
- Provides fast treatments
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is a radiation treatment that your radiation oncologist may recommend. Before your treatment, robotic arms on either side of the machine will image your tumor. The machine will then correct for any variation in the position of your tumor, ensuring that the cancer cells are targeted as accurately and precisely as possible. This prevents excess radiation exposure to your healthy tissue, and minimizes the risk of side effects.
RapidArc is an advanced form of Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a treatment that conforms to the shape of your tumor before exposing it to high-energy rays. This makes it possible to deliver more radiation to the tumor and less to the healthy surrounding tissue. Most RapidArc treatments are very quick and are finished in less than two minutes.
High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy is a technique we use to treat patients with breast cancer. High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy delivers high doses of radiation to the cancer very quickly, reducing the overall treatment time to approximately five days.
If you plan to have a lumpectomy (part of your breast removed), you may be a good candidate for High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR). With HDR, we can maximize your chance of being cured, while minimizing your risk of side effects.
Here is what you can expect:
- Shortly after your lumpectomy, you will have a CT Scan (“CAT” Scan).
- Based on the results of the CT scan, our team will develop your customized radiation treatment plan. As always, the goal is to deliver a high dose of radiation to the specific area, while minimizing its effect on healthy surrounding tissues and lowering the risk of side effects.
- Your doctor will place a small balloon-like device inside your breast.
- Twice a day (usually for five days), you will come to our office for treatment. Typically, there is a six-hour break between the two daily treatments. During these breaks, you are free to leave the office and go about your day.
- During each treatment, the HDR machine will temporarily place a radioactive “seed” into the device inside your breast, then remove it 10 or 15 minutes later. The treatment is not painful, and it will not make you radioactive.
- Once your radiation treatments are complete, your doctor can easily remove the balloon device in his or her office.