Radiotherapy is a method of treatment that uses carefully calculated and measured doses of radiation to treat the cancerous area. The treatment normally takes just a few minutes and is painless
There are a number of methods of radiotherapy treatment available:
- External Beam radiotherapy
- Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT)
- Prostate Seed Brachytherapy (RASI)
- High Dose Rate Brachytherapy (HDR)
High radiation therapy doses are linked to better outcomes for the patient. With new techniques, radiation therapists can deliver higher doses with fewer side effects.
What ever type of radiotherapy you have been prescribed, it is necessary for your treatment to be planned. Planning is the process of obtaining relevant information about the shape and size of the area of the body to be treated. This is done by taking images of the area, either using a CT scanner or an Ultrasound scanner. A small number of patients may also need to have a planning MRI or PET scan.
This information is then used to design an individual treatment plan and to perform a dose calculation. Treatment planning is required for both external beam treatments and brachytherapy treatments
Treatment planning is carried out by a specialized team of physicists and planning technicians.