Navigating Lung Cancer Navigating Lung Cancer - Page 23

Radiation Therapy. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other forms of radiation to kill cancer cells. It can be delivered in several different ways. In most cases, the patient lies on a special treatment table. A machine delivers invisible radioactive beams through the skin to the cancer. Radiation can harm healthy tissue. The radiation oncology team will carefully measure and mark the spot to get radiation. During treatment, the beams will be aimed at that precise spot. Each treatment takes only a few minutes. Radiation therapy for lung cancer is usually given several days each week for several weeks. The schedule is planned specifically for each patient. It depends on the type, size, and location of the cancer. Your health-care team will create a radiation therapy plan that: • • • eliminates as much cancer as possible minimizes side effects limits of radiation exposure to normal tissues outside the cancer Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). SBRT radiation therapy focuses and intensifies each dose of radiation. It causes less damage to the healthy tissue near the tumor. Throughout the treatment, the strength and direction of the radiation are constantly adjusted. This targets any changes in the tumor (such as it getting smaller) and spares healthy tissue. SBRT delivers several doses, usually three to five treatments (one per day). 21