At some point during treatment, approximately one-half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Akron General offers radiation therapy to treat a wide variety of cancers.
Radiation therapy is also frequently used with other types of therapies including chemotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy to improve patients’ survival rates and quality of life.
Short Course Radiation Therapy
Selected patients with early-stage prostate or breast cancer may require far fewer radiation therapy visits due to new radiation therapy technology offered at Cleveland Clinic Akron General. In certain cases, patients are decreasing the number of radiation treatments for breast cancer from 20 or more to five, and prostate cancer patients are reducing treatments from as many as 44, down to just five.
Patients with other types of cancer also will be able to significantly reduce number of treatment visits.
This new capability derives from Akron General having two new state of the art linear accelerators, as well as more advanced treatment planning technology, with improved imaging and patient immobilization. All of these enable providers to deliver radiation therapy to malignant tumors more intensely, more precisely and more rapidly – while sparing surrounding normal tissue. There are no additional risks or unwanted side effects with these advances.
Patient Story:After a routine mammogram, Patricia Szarnicki, 73, of East Akron, learned she had a small tumor in her right breast. Breast surgeon Amanda Mendiola, MD, removed the tumor and encouraged Patricia to get radiation therapy to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. Radiation oncologist Camille Berriochoa, MD, offered her the option of a new approach, short course radiation therapy, which allows patients to get good results with fewer treatments than in the past. Patricia ended up only having 5 treatments instead of the 10 to 20 she would have normally had, freeing her up to get back to her busy life sooner. “If you have to have radiation therapy, this is the best case scenario,” she says. “I count my blessings that it was available.”
For more information, talk to you doctor, or call the Radiation Oncology Department at 330.344.6448.
The Department of Radiation Oncology ensures that patients have access to the latest treatments and protocols available. Eligible patients may choose to participate in NCI-sponsored investigational protocols as part of the Akron General McDowell Cancer Center's membership in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast Project, the Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
For information about Akron General's McDowell Cancer Center, our services and programs, call 330.344.4763.