Radiation Therapy For Cancer
For more information on radiation treatment for cancer or for a referral to one of the Radiation Oncologists, please call the Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center at 914.242.8115.
Before your first appointment, you can download and complete this History Summary and bring with you.
The Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center at Mt. Kisco’s Northern Westchester Hospital offers painless, highly-effective radiation therapy for cancer to destroy the cancer cells’ ability to reproduce, precisely targeting the cancer, resulting in minimal side effects and little or no damage to the surrounding tissue. In some cases, radiation therapy can shrink or destroy a tumor, eliminating the need for surgery. We have prone and supine breast positioning capabilities to best localize radiation therapies and reduce or eliminate impact on healthy tissue.
Radiation treatment for cancer is administered under the direction of the Radiation Oncologist, Alfred Tinger, MD. Listed below are radiation therapies used at NWH to treat cancer.
External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) and
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
External Beam Radiation Therapy delivers high-energy radiation from an external source to the involved site. Since the radiation passes through the skin and organs, it must be given in small doses each day over a period of weeks. Most patients can continue normal activities throughout the treatment. The risks may include low blood counts, fatigue, skin redness, and rarely, long term injury to nearby organs. Conformal radiation allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered without increased risk. The most advanced method is Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which uses a computerized imaging system to limit the amount of radiation to surrounding tissues allowing higher doses of energy to the tumor. This is particularly helpful for prostate, lung, head and neck, and esophageal tumors.
Brachytherapy (BT) involves the implantation of tiny titanium pellets or removable applicator containing a radioactive isotope into the volume requiring treatment. The procedure, which may involve passing a few needles through the skin, is usually done on an outpatient basis with a recovery time of only a few days. The radiation is released over a period of minutes to months. Higher doses of radiation can be delivered since the radiation does not have to pass through surrounding tissues, as occurs with EBRT.
In some treatments, 5 weeks of EBRT and BT are used together. The EBRT allows treatment of the lymph nodes and areas adjacent to the targeted area, while the BT permits high dose radiation. Despite the higher overall amount of radiation, the risk of complications is not greater than with either modality alone.
Northern Westchester Hospital provides brachytherapy with or without external radiation. Brachytherapy is performed jointly by the specialist and the Radiation Oncologist to assure the best possible implantation.
The TrueBeam™ Novalis Linear Accelerator
The Linear Accelerator is the most advanced device of its kind, and offers millimeter-level accuracy and flexible radiation delivery methods that can be programmed to match the type, size, and exact shape of the tumor. Among the treatment options it performs are intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy, respiratory gated radiation therapy, 3D-conformal radiation therapy, stereotactic body radiosurgery, and electron beam radiation therapy.
Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
Radiation oncologists use Image Guided Radiation Therapy, or IGRT, to help better deliver the radiation to the cancer because tumors can move between treatments. IGRT involves radiation treatment guided by imaging, such as CT, ultrasound or X-rays, taken in the treatment room just before the patient is given the radiation treatment on a daily basis. All patients first undergo a CT scan as part of the planning process. The information from the CT scan is then transmitted to a computer in the treatment room to allow doctors to compare the earlier image with the images taken just before treatment. This allows doctors to better target the cancer while avoiding nearby healthy tissue. Respiratory gating can be used for thoracic and abdominal tumors that may move to respiration.
Intraoperative Radiotherapy (IORT)
The Zeiss Intrabeam intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) provides precise radiation dose delivery that enables the radiation oncologist to administer the prescribed dose with precision to the tumor site during surgery. NWH IORT The Cancer Center uses IORT primarily in breast cancer treatments. This treatment replaces the “boost” portion of the treatment, eliminating 1 1/2 to 2 weeks from the 6 to 7 week course of radiation needed after lumpectomy.
Trans Arterial Radioembolization (TARE) with Yttrium-90
Trans arterial radioembolization is a targeted treatment for liver tumors and colorectal tumors that spread to the liver. It uses embolization to deliver millions of tiny radioactive beads called SIR-Spheres® into the hepatic artery–precisely where liver tumors receive most of their blood supply. Once infused, the beads lodge in the blood vessels near the tumor, where they deliver a large dose of yttrium-90 (Y-90) radiation to the tumor site for several days. The radiation travels a very short distance, so its effects are limited mainly to the tumor.
TARE has been used by the experienced Radiation Oncologists and Interventional Radiologists at NWH since 2010. With approval, it can be used to treat other cancers, as well. Visit also our Interventional Radiology Department.
Our Team Approach
Paramount to the application of this advanced radiation treatment for cancer at NWH is the multidisciplinary collaboration between Dr. Carlos Forcade, Director of Interventional Radiology, and Dr. Alfred Tinger, Chief of Radiation Oncology in The Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center.
The Gamma Knife is the most accepted and widely used radiosurgical treatment in the world and delivers a high dose of gamma radiation to the target with surgical precision. Visit the Gamma Knife Center at Northern Westchester Hospital.
To learn more about radiation treatment for cancer or for a referral an NWH Radiation Oncologists, please call the Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center at 914.242.8115.