Radiation Therapy Services at Palomar Medical Center
Orthovoltage - Superficial Radiation Treatment
Orthovoltage radiation treatments use lower x-ray energy than conventional radiation therapy treatments. These treatments are used for superficial lesions such as scars and skin cancers. Orthovoltage requires about fifteen minutes a day for set up. Treatment is typically delivered between 10 - 30 fractions.
HDR - High Dose Rate Brachytherapy
High dose rate (HDR) remote brachytherapy involves placing very tiny plastic catheters into the treatment area, and then giving radiation treatments through these catheters over a short, temporary period of time. With HDR a computer controlled machine pushes a single highly radioactive source (i.e.…iridium 192) into the catheters one by one. The average time of treatment is 10 minutes.
IGRT - Image Guided Radiation Therapy
Image guided radiation therapy is a procedure designed to treat the defined tumor and spare the surrounding normal tissue from receiving doses above specified dose tolerances. There are many factors that may contribute to differences between the planned dose distribution and the delivered dose distribution. One such factor is uncertainty in patient position on the treatment unit. IGRT is a component of the radiation therapy process that incorporates imaging coordinates from the treatment plan to be delivered in order to ensure the patient is properly aligned in the treatment room.
External Beam Conventional Radiotherapy - Teletherapy
External beam conventional radiotherapy, otherwise known as teletherapy, is the most frequently used form of radiation therapy. The patient sits or lies on a couch and an external source of radiation is pointed at a particular part of the body. Kilovoltage (also known as Superficial of Deep) x-rays are used for treating skin cancer and superficial structures. Megavoltage x-rays are used to treat deep-seated tumors (e.g. bladder, bowel, prostate, lung, brain). Megavoltage electrons are mainly used for treating lumpectomy scars and others surgical scars after a tumor is removed surgically.
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