The Radiation Oncology Program at The University of Tennessee Medical Center treats the whole patient with advanced technology and patient education. A variety of options are offered from standard techniques to leading-edge therapies. Each member of the radiation oncology team focuses on treating specific types of cancer. With specialized knowledge of the degrees of treatment and how to effectively use the technology, our program achieves the best possible outcomes for patients.
The Radiation Oncology team offers state-of-the-art planning and treatment for cancer including external beam and stereotactic radiosurgery. A radiation oncologist, physicist, and nurse are on site at all times during administration of radiation treatments. Through ongoing clinical research, the Radiation Oncology Program strives to develop new treatment techniques to kill cancer cells while minimizing the harmful side effects of radiation.
- 3-D conformal radiation
- Prostate seed implants
- High dose rate brachytherapy
- External beam radiation therapy
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
- Gynecologic HDR radiation therapy
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
Our radiation oncologists are board certified physicians who use radiation to treat cancer. Radiation can be given to cure cancer either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. It may also be given to relieve symptoms. In some cases, radiation may also be used to treat benign tumors. Radiation oncologists are part of the multidisciplinary team that reviews each patient’s case to determine an individualized treatment plan for each cancer patient.
The Treatment Process
Radiation treatment uses focused X-rays, which is a form of energy, to destroy cancerous cells while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue. Radiation damages the DNA in cancer cells, which interrupts their ability to reproduce, causing them to die and the tumor to shrink. Most normal cells, however, have the ability to repair themselves and can more easily recover from the radiation.
There are two basic types of radiation treatment: radiotherapy and radiosurgery. With both techniques, treatment delivery is noninvasive, so there are no incisions. These techniques focus a beam of radiation directly to the tumor while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
Radiation oncology teams use sophisticated software and highly specialized equipment to deliver a variety of treatments, depending on what is best for each patient’s unique case. Your radiation oncologist will review the radiation treatment options with you and determine which one is right for your particular cancer.