Radiation Oncology

WellSpan Radiation Oncology meets the multidisciplinary needs of patients in a coordinated fashion with colleagues in Medical, Gynecologic and Surgical Oncology, as well as clinicians and staff in support services.

Radiation therapy is used in the treatment of most types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, brain tumors and others. Radiation therapy involves various treatment techniques. 

Among the more commonly used techniques employed at our facilities are:

  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Radiotherapy
  • High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR)
  • Mammosite/SAVI Breast Brachytherapy
  • Prostate Brachytherapy (seed implants)
  • 3-D Radiation Therapy
  • Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
  • Radionuclide Administration
  • Proton Therapy
  • Prostate Space OAR

The process of these treatments is not painful as patients cannot see, smell, taste, hear or feel the radiation treatment. In many cases, radiation therapy is combined with surgery and chemotherapy to achieve the best outcome.

What does a radiation oncologist do?

A radiation oncologist is a physician who specializes in treating cancer through radiation therapy. The oncologist selects the most effective radiation technique, for each particular patient, to destroy abnormal (cancer) cells while sparing the normal surrounding tissue.

When patients consult radiation oncologist, they have usually just had surgery or a biopsy. The oncologist will spend some time with the patient just talking about the problem and what is the most appropriate therapy.

If radiation therapy is recommended as treatment for a cancer, the radiation oncologist will plan that treatment. The planning involves the use of computers and sophisticated software operated in conjunction with a team of physicists and expert treatment planners (dosimetrists) who create a plan to meet the radiation oncologist’s specifications. The plan is designed to deliver a lethal dose of radiation to the tumor/cancer while delivering as little radiation as possible to normal surrounding structures. This technique serves to minimize any side effects of radiation therapy.

Radiation therapists carry out the actual treatment prescribed by the radiation oncologists. While patients receiving radiation therapy are seen daily by the radiation oncology team, a weekly visit with the radiation oncologist insures that the treatment is proceeding as planned and deals with any side effects which may be bothersome to the patient.
Radiation oncologists’ involvement in patient care extends far beyond the delivery of radiation therapy.  Radiation oncologists are physicians and are therefore interested in the well being of their patients beyond the treatment of their malignancy.  To that end, the radiation oncologist will, when appropriate, consult with other health care professionals and allied health workers in order to optimize the patient’s experience while undergoing therapy for what is often a life threatening disease.

WellSpan Radiation Oncology Locations:

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