Radiation therapy is an important part of many cancer patients' total treatment plan. During your treatments, carefully targeted and measured doses of radiation are delivered to your body. The radiation produces highly energized ions that gradually shrink and destroy cancer cells. As a radiation therapy patient, you typically will receive treatments five days per week for several weeks, to be determined by your Radiation Oncologist.
The Radiation Oncologist is a physician who provides specialized treatment of both malignant and benign disease by using radiation beams and other forms of radioactive materials to treat these conditions. Your Radiation Oncologist will work together, updating and discussing with your primary care physician and other specialists, to render the most effective treatment possible. You will visit with your Radiation Oncologist once a week to evaluate the progress throughout your radiation treatment course.
Lowell General is among the first in the nation - and the first in New England - to acquire the cutting-edge Varian TrueBeam™ Radiotherapy System which provides cancer treatment that is faster and more accurate than ever before, including treatment of certain types of cancer that have challenged even the world's best centers.
The Radiation Oncology department uses linear accelerators to deliver radiation doses to all types of malignant diseases, as well as benign diseases. An accelerator is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows patients to have rapid, accurate treatments that can be easily verified. As the radiation oncology field advances, Lowell General Hospital is committed to provide the most up-to-date technology for the patients of the community.
Planning of Radiation Treatments
If your Radiation Oncologist determines radiation would be beneficial for your disease, you will be scheduled for a planning appointment, called a simulation. The simulation is to determine the position you will be in for your daily treatments, perform a CT Scan of the area to be treated, and place markings on your skin to pin-point where the treatments will be delivered. The simulation is just the first step in the planning process for your treatment. Additional diagnostic studies (such as MRI or PET scan) may be beneficial to determine the treatment area. The planning process is a coordinated effort with your radiation therapy treatment team and can take a week or more to finalize.
Directions to Cancer Center