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Radiation Therapy

Precision radiation therapy targets tumors

New therapies offer patients hope in the fight against cancer

By delivering high doses of radiation in very precise, controlled doses, Radiation Therapy can effectively target tumors while sparing normal healthy tissues nearby. Ellis Medicine is a longtime leader in the field of Radiation Oncology, with proven successes in treating cancer.

Ellis Medicine’s Radiation Oncology team includes board-certified radiation oncologists, NYS licensed and board-certified radiation therapists, dosimetrists, board-certified physicists and specialized oncology nursing staff. We work together with the Ellis medical staff to provide integrated, comprehensive care for every patient.

Radiation therapy treatments at Ellis include:

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) is a highly effective cancer treatment that’s delivered through the use of Image Guided Radiation Therapy. IMRT utilizes a computer controlled linear accelerator to deliver radiation doses, with high precision, to targeted tumor areas, sparing normal tissues and enabling higher doses of radiation.

The high precision of IMRT leads to reduced side-effects and increased hope for effectiveness. In fact, the improved ability to conform the radiation to the target and increase the dose, improves the cure rate for higher-risk tumors. This has already been verified by data from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the case of advanced or aggressive prostate cancer.

IMRT is not an appropriate treatment for every patient. Talk with your doctor about the course of treatment that's right for you.

Radioactive Seed Implantation for Prostate Cancer (brachytherapy)

Ellis Medicine offers radioactive seed implantation (brachytherapy), a promising treatment for prostate cancer. Here’s how it works: tiny "seeds" of radioactive material are injected into a patient's prostate with special needles and the help of ultrasound guidance. This directly targets the prostate cancer, while minimizing the radiation dose to nearby organs and tissue.

Benefits of seed implants include that it reduces common side-effects associated with prostate cancer treatment, such as impotence and incontinence. Usually it's an outpatient procedure that takes only about an hour. Fifteen year clinical studies have shown radioactive seed implantation to be an effective treatment of prostate cancer, especially when treating tumors that have not metastasized and in men with early cases of prostate cancer.

Appropriate candidates for radioactive seed implantation may include patients age 63 and older and those considered "high risk" for surgery. Younger patients, men in their 50s and early 60s, should understand that results of longer term studies (20 years) are not yet available and should consult their physicians when deciding what treatment plan is best.

Prostate cancer continues to be one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer among American men. The American Cancer Society recommends that men age 40 and older get an annual DRE (digital rectal exam) and that at age 50 they begin getting an annual PSA blood test. Younger men who are at high risk (i.e. African-Americans or those with a family history) may want to begin screenings earlier. Like any cancer, the sooner prostate cancer is detected, the more treatable it is.

For more information about cancer care at Ellis Medicine, please call 518.243.4317.