Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that focuses radiation on the affected part of your body to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It may be used in combination with chemotherapy (medical oncology) or thoracic cancer surgery.
Experienced Radiation Therapy for Thoracic Cancer
Our specialized radiology oncology team is the most experienced in Michigan. We use the most advanced technology available today to deliver radiation safely and precisely. Radiation therapy can kill normal cells in addition to cancer cells. Our specialists carefully plan every aspect of your radiation treatment plan. Our approach makes sure that radiation is targeted on the tumor site, minimizing exposure to radiation and protecting surrounding healthy tissue.
Types of Radiation Therapy at Henry Ford
Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by destroying their DNA with radiation, often in the form of X-rays and gamma rays. We only use the safest type of radiation therapy that allows our specialists to precisely target your tumor. We offer the following types of high-tech radiation treatments:
- External beam radiation delivers radiation from a device outside the body.
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT): Delivers a few, high-dose treatments of radiation directed at small tumors to kill them
- 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT): Uses advanced imaging technology to precisely target radiation to the size and shape of your tumor, sparing surrounding healthy tissue
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): A special type of 3D-CRT that administers radiation in small beamlets of varying intensity that conform to the three-dimensional size and shape of tumors
- 4-D treatment planning CT scans (4D CT): Highly advanced form of radiation treatment planning that helps target tumors that move when patients breath
- Internal radiation therapy involves the injection of radioactive materials into the body that work from the inside out.
- Brachytherapy: We use brachytherapy to deliver high doses of radiation directly to tumor sites. Our brachytherapy options are available in our interventional pulmonology program.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) at Henry Ford
Radiation oncologists at Henry Ford were the first in Michigan to use stereotactic body radiation therapy, called SBRT for short. Today, they remain the most experienced team in the state.
SBRT is a very advanced form of radiation. It involves only five or fewer visits for radiation treatment, compared to more than 30 for traditional radiation. Patients receive high doses of radiation that targets and kills cancer cells. The high precision of this treatment helps to protect surrounding tissue and organs from radiation.
Radiation therapy does not hurt. Our goal is to make the treatment process as easy as possible for our patients. We work closely with you so you understand what to expect each step of the way. Our patients receive support from the following people:
- A nurse will meet with patients before treatment starts to review medical history and medications.
- A social worker will meet with them occasionally to provide support.
- A nutritionist is available for patients if needed. Patients receiving treatment for esophageal cancer may benefit from recommendations to ease inflammation of their esophagus.
Our free Survivorship Program offers nutritional, emotional and fitness support to patients to keep them healthy through treatment and well educated about what to expect.
Make an Appointment
Josephine Ford Cancer Institute nurses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you make an appointment. Call (888)777-4167 to speak to one of our nurses now or fill out a request a consult form and you will be contacted within 24 hours.