Radiation therapy — also called radiation oncology — is a main part of urologic cancer care. Many people will have some form as part of their treatment.
Radiation therapy often uses externally applied x-rays to kill cancer cells by damaging their DNA. In some cases, it involves placing radioactive materials in or close to the cancerous site.
Types of Radiation Treatments for Urologic Cancers
When your doctor doesn't think surgery is a good option, radiation therapy can help shrink a tumor and stop it from spreading. It can also help manage pain.
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is a leader in the use of cutting-edge radiation technologies and treatments for urologic cancers.
We offer the following radiation methods to ensure that you receive state-of-the-art cancer:
- Brachytherapy is a type of treatment in which your doctor implants or inserts radioactive materials at the cancer site. It delivers a high dose of radiation directly to the cancerous area and helps spare nearby tissues. The radioactive delivery materials, known as seeds, slowly release radiation over many months. Within one year, their radiation completely decays. The seeds can remain safely in place for the rest of your life.
- Image-guided radiation therapy uses advanced imaging technology so doctors can adjust your treatments over time to match the changing shape of your tumor.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy allows the doctor to bend the radiation beams to match the shape of your tumor. This improves the accuracy of treatment.
Some people suffer side effects from radiation oncology treatment.
Going through radiation along with chemotherapy can worsen side effects.
Your urologic cancer treatment team will try to reduce any side effects you may have.
Contact Us About Urologic Cancer Radiation Treatments
Contact UPMC Hillman Cancer Center about urologic cancer care by calling 412-647-2811.