At Health Quest, your treatment plans are created around your needs and goals. Our radiation oncology teams collaborate to deliver personalized care plans that precisely target cancer. Our goal is to get you back to living your life as quickly and safely as possible.
Radiation oncology is the use of radiation and radioactive materials to treat cancer and other diseases. The goal of radiation therapy is to target the cancer while limiting damage to normal, healthy tissue. Radiation therapy destroys cancer cells in the treated area by damaging their genetic material. This prevents the cells from multiplying and keeps tumors from growing.
Depending on the type and extent of your cancer, radiation therapy can be used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.
You and your doctor will work together to determine the best treatment for your type of cancer. Your care team members will include oncology-trained nurses and medical physicists who carefully calculate treatment plans, and monitor equipment and procedures to ensure patient safety.
Why Choose Us?
- You’ll have access to the latest radiation therapy treatments in a caring environment, close to home.
- Our teams collaborate in a multi-disciplinary setting to ensure your cancer care is coordinated among all of your specialists.
- Health Quest Medical Practice radiation oncologists are board certified, and our centers are accredited by the American College of Radiology.
- Our medical physicists are certified by the American Board of Radiology or the American Board of Medical Physics and are licensed by New York State.
- Safety is the number one priority among our team. We’re committed to delivering your radiation therapy safely to protect our patients and staff.
- Our caring and compassionate staff understands that a cancer diagnosis can be scary and uncertain. We’ll be with you and your family every step of the way.
What You Can Expect During Treatment
Although each patient’s course of radiation therapy is different, you can expect to experience these steps when you choose Health Quest for your radiation oncology treatment:
- Consultation: A radiation oncologist will review your medical tests, give a complete physical examination and discuss the benefits and risks of radiation therapy. A radiation oncology nurse will explain the radiation oncology treatment process.
- CT (Computed Tomography) Simulation: To help your care team precisely and safely target your tumor, your anatomy is measured and skin marked to simulate treatment without administering actual radiation. During simulation, you are placed on the table in the exact position you will be in during the actual treatments. A simulation lasts about 60 minutes.
- Treatment Planning: Special blocks or shields are made to shape the radiation to your tumor and keep the beams from reaching normal, healthy tissue. This planning process can be time-consuming and may take up to two weeks to complete.
- Verification Simulation: This procedure ensures that the plan that has been customized for your treatment lines up correctly on your body and covers the right areas. No treatment will be given at this time.
- Daily Treatments: Treatment delivery from one or more of our radiation treatment machines may be used. The beam may be on for anywhere from ten seconds to several minutes for each field. A treatment visit can last 30 to 60 minutes.
- Weekly Status Checks During Treatment: During radiation therapy, your radiation oncologist and nurse follow your progress, recommend treatments for any side effects and address any concerns you may have. Verification films will be taken daily or after every five treatments. Your Health Quest treatment team reviews these films to be sure that the treatment beams remain precisely aimed at the proper target, ensuring treatment accuracy.
- Follow-up Visits After Treatment: Follow-up appointments help your radiation oncologist make sure your recovery is proceeding normally. As time goes on, the frequency of your visits will decrease.
Treatments, Technology & Surgical Procedures
Health Quest offers state-of-the-art radiation therapy treatments. Using the most advanced equipment, radiation oncologists can precisely target the cancerous area while sparing healthy tissue. Radiation can take place before, during, or after surgery and chemotherapy treatments. Your radiation oncologist will discuss the best course of treatment for your situation.
There are four common types of radiation therapy used to treat cancer:
- External Beam Radiation Therapy directs a beam of radiation at the cancerous area to destroy the tumor and any nearby cancer cells. The team can control the size and shape of the beam, as well as how it is directed at the patient’s body. This treatment spares surrounding normal tissue.
- Brachytherapy (or internal radiation therapy) involves placing a radioactive seed in or very close to the tumor, allowing the radiation oncologist to deliver a large dose of radiation directly to the cancerous cells with minimal impact on the surrounding tissue.
- Intraoperative therapy is used in the operating room during surgery, especially for breast cancer. In this therapy, a small machine provides low-energy radiation to a specific target exposed during surgery.
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) are two other highly sophisticated techniques of external beam radiation therapy. They are most commonly used to treat tumors of the brain, lung and liver.
- TomoTherapy® is a treatment system that uses a unique CT scanner to deliver radiation continuously from all angles around the patient. More angles and more precise modulation result in dose distributions that conform to tumors and minimize damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
- RA-223 is a treatment for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. This medicine allows your radiation oncologist to target bone metastases from prostate cancer and prevent fractures and other bone problems caused by cancer bone metastases.