Radiation therapy uses high–energy radiation to minimize or kill malignant cancer cells. At Parkland Medical Center, our comprehensive cancer care program collaborates with radiation therapy and interventional radiology providers in our region to deliver a variety of treatments that meet your specific needs.

Advanced Technology in Experienced Hands

Rely on Parkland Medical Center to refer you to the most advanced technology for cancer–fighting radiation therapy. We partner with highly skilled radiologists, interventional radiologists, physicians and clinical staff in Southern New Hampshire who perform procedures with this equipment each day.

We also maintain professional relationships with top–notch radiation therapy facilities and specialists in Boston and throughout New England, so you’re assured of receiving appropriate referrals to the best resources, as well as expert team care closely monitored by your local oncologist.

You and your physician typically choose from two general types of radiation therapy—external beam or internal—or combine them to more completely address your particular situation.

Procedures using external beam radiation may involve image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which link highly detailed imaging scans with focused radiation beams to target certain small, well-defined tumors.

A special type of external beam radiation, called stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) or stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), uses focused beams to target well-defined tumors. Stereotactic radiation procedures are often known by manufacturers equipment brand names, including Trilogy®, Truebeam, Synergy S, Elekta, Gamma Knife®, CyberKnife, X-Knife, TomoTherapy and others. These procedures benefit patients by rapidly delivering concentrated radiation to tumors and reducing damage to nearby healthy tissue.

Internal radiation treatments, also known as brachytherapy, involve inserting a source of radioactive material often called a "seed" into a body cavity. For treatment of gynecologic or breast cancers, this sealed source is sent into the body through a catheter for a short period of time, usually just a few minutes.

You may be a candidate for accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), a procedure that delivers a course of radiation treatment over five days rather than several weeks.

Breast cancer and gynecologic cancers also may respond to high-dose rate (HDR) radiation treatment, which uses several types of specialized equipment to target cancer sites. You and your physician will discuss whether you might benefit from HDR treatment, and, if so, we'll make the appropriate referrals.

Prostate brachytherapy is a one-time procedure performed in the operating room, where the radioactive seeds are implanted directly into the prostate gland.

Access to Interventional Radiology through Parkland Medical Center

At Parkland Medical Center, we offer access to advanced technologies for radiation therapy performed by experienced interventional radiology clinicians at our sister facility—the Portsmouth Regional Hospital Cancer Care Center—and at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center or other well–regarded regional providers. These targeted procedures that spare surrounding healthy tissue include:

  • Ablative techniques using high heat or extreme cold—radiofrequency ablation (RFA), microwave ablation and cryoablation—to take direct aim at tumors
  • Embolic techniques—Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT)—using nuclear medicine (radioembolization) or chemotherapy (chemoembolization) that inject the appropriate substance directly into the tumor

Minimally invasive interventional radiology techniques may be an excellent choice if you’re unable to tolerate conventional surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. These tumor–focused procedures can mean fewer side effects and more rapid recovery, so you’re often able to return home the same day. Parkland offers you and your care team the widest range of options for managing your cancer diagnosis.

Learn more about tests and imaging and our full range of surgical services at Parkland Medical Center.

Find additional information about radiology procedures at RadiologyInfo.org and through the Society of Interventional Radiology.

Explore the Cancer Center in our online Health Library.

Rehabilitation & Recovery

Support your recovery and regain function during and after treatment by taking advantage of the extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services available to you through Parkland Medical Center. Our compassionate clinicians, nurses and therapists deliver the expert care you need. Your overall recuperation, return to daily activities and outlook on life can also benefit from our extensive cancer recovery and support resources, lunch–and–learn sessions, healing arts workshops, palliative care, pain management and more.

View our online calendar for related classes and events.

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