Radiation Therapy: A Guide to Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy and the Latest Technology
Pushing for the right radiation therapy treatment
Advances in radiation therapy offer many new treatment choices. When a patient's oncologist recommends radiation, be sure to check into whether the type of radiation the doctor suggests is the most advanced strategy available for his cancer.
Of course, you're naturally going to have many questions. Among them will be concerns about whether the type of radiation the doctor's recommending is the most advanced and aggressive strategy available for the particular type of cancer.
"Not all radiation therapy is created equal" says oncologist Shalom Kalnicki, chairman of radiation oncology at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. "You want to understand what's involved and find out about all the options so you can make the best choice."
For suggestions on what to ask during this important discussion, see 15 Questions to Ask About Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer. Certainly, the oncologist knows more about cancer than you do and may have solid reasons for recommending a particular treatment -- but it's also possible he's recommending only the treatment available in the hospitals he's affiliated with. To prepare for this talk, you'll want to know the terms for the wide variety of techniques available. Here's a rundown of the newest radiation technologies: