Cancer is a word that no one likes to hear — and receiving a cancer diagnosis can be very stressful.
Hearing that you have cancer often brings up a complicated mix of feelings and reactions, but probably the most common response is fear.
Fear about the diagnosis.
Fear about the treatment process.
And uncertainty about the future for you and your loved ones.
When a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, the decision-making process about how to pursue treatment can feel overwhelming.
At Rio Grande Radiation Center, our goal is to empower you with the information you need to make the best decisions about your treatment.
We work together with you as an interdisciplinary team to provide compassionate care — collaborating to help you in your fight against cancer.
Why Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy is frequently recommended as a treatment for cancer. But what is it?
Radiation therapy uses intense energy beams — like image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) — or an internally placed radiation source (like brachytherapy) to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells over time. This radiation damages the DNA in cancer cells so that they stop dividing and break down — allowing the body to get rid of them.
For cancer treatment, radiation therapy can be used by itself, or in conjunction with another therapy — like chemo or surgical procedures — to destroy the tumor. Depending on a patient’s treatment plan, RGU’s Radiation Center has both IGRT and IMRT capabilities.
IMRT and IGRT
IMRT (or stereotactic treatment) is a therapy where we use very precise, focused radiation beams to treat tumors. This pinpointed approach can minimize side effects and limit radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue.
IGRT is an IMRT technique that uses imaging to ensure that the treatment is delivered exactly where it is supposed to be. We use this imaging to locate the tumor and other nearby structures in detail — so that radiation is focused directly on the tumor. This targeted therapy can be used before and during treatment for maximized efficacy.
Will I need other treatments besides radiation therapy?
Your interdisciplinary team will consider various factors when developing your treatment plan.
For example, at RGU’s Radiation Center, we treat some prostate cancer patients with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) at the same time as radiation.
But each patient’s treatment plan is uniquely determined by their needs and results.
What makes RGU’s Radiation Center different?
We understand that a cancer diagnosis can be a scary thing. To face and overcome that diagnosis, we offer our patients state-of-the-art therapies and compassionate, collaborative care.
Multi-faceted treatment approaches
Many radiation oncology centers focus on radiation therapy with external radiation units — where a machine delivers energy beams to the tumor from a source outside of the body.
In addition to IMRT and IGRT therapy, RGU’s Radiation Center offers multiple service lines as needed to best serve our patients.
These services include:
- High-dose brachytherapy (also called Prostate Seed Implants): A protected, localized radiation source is internally placed (for a short amount of time) in or near the tumor and then removed. This provides a highly targeted treatment of prostate tumors.
- Hormonal and Oncolytic therapies at our Advanced Prostate Cancer Center
- Cutting-edge therapies: We stay on top of current research, treatment aids, and techniques that have shown positive results — to help patients comfortably start and finish their treatment.
Interdisciplinary treatment team
In determining a cancer treatment plan, RGU Radiation Center believes in the power of teamwork. We bring together professionals from different disciplines to coordinate care, provide quick results, and work towards the best outcomes for patients.
Our patients have access to an in-house radiologist and radiation oncologist, on-site lab services, and diagnostic CT scans. We work with community partners (including non-profit organizations and multi-disciplinary physicians) to promote wellness, relief, and restored health for our patients.
RGU’s Radiation Center: working together for wellness
If you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis, the future might feel uncertain. At RGU’s Radiation Center, we combine hi-tech treatment, compassionate care, and a team of professionals to work together with you as you face these challenges.
Cancer is a scary word. But RGU’s Radiation Center is here to help you in this fight.