Denver Cancer Treatment Options
Littleton Radiation and Medical Oncology is a free-standing treatment center that places a high priority on providing a warm, caring environment. Our free-standing status also provides more affordable and totally unique treatment options compared to other facilities and hospitals. Our oncologists specialize in developing new treatments and practicing special techniques in the ongoing battle against cancer, including:
- AccuBoost (New Breast Cancer Treatment)
- Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
- Radiation Therapy FAQ
AccuBoost (New Breast Cancer Treatment)
A new early stage cancer treatment that focuses on saving the breast/s of our patients. The procedure begins with surgically removing cancerous tissue from the breast/s that is commonly known as a lumpectomy. Daily sessions of radiation therapy follow the lumpectomy procedure and last for six weeks.
Whole breast irradiation (WBI), considered the “gold standard” of breast radiotherapy, is a non-invasive procedure aimed only at the tissue surrounding the tumor; the combination of surgery and completion of radiation therapy has proven effective in preventing recurrences of cancer.
AccuBoost is a recommended treatment for patients who are in the early stages of breast cancer, as it offers several benefits over more extreme treatments such as mastectomies.
A form of radiation therapy where a radioisotope is inserted into the tumor and delivers intense, precise doses of radiation. Both temporary and permanent types of brachytherapy exist involving one-time procedures and long-term procedures. Radioactive material is placed inside cancerous tissue and positioned in a manner to efficiently attack cancer safely while reducing long-term side effects.
Brachytherapy has proven effective in treating prostate cancer and lowering incidences of impotence and incontinence in male patients, returning them to normal activities just days after treatment. Patients with localized (organ-confined) cancer are recommended to receive this type of treatment.
Littleton Radiation and Medical Oncology’s Dr. Schreiber specializes in brachytherapy techniques and has performed up to 5,000 of these procedures over the last 28 years. He continues to develop medical devices that have contributed to new and innovative brachytherapy techniques.
Heat therapy designed to enhance the radiation treatment of various recurrent or progressive tumors. Hyperthermia breaks down these types of tumors making them susceptible to radiation treatments. The focused microwave energy, or heat, damages cancer cells while increasing the effects of radiation therapy.
Littleton Radiation and Medical Oncology conducts hyperthermia treatments twice a week for approximately one hour. Up to 83.7% of patients experience some tumor regression while 37.4% experience complete tumor regression after undergoing hyperthermia treatment.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy
Known as IMRT, this radiation therapy is a step beyond traditional, three-dimensional conformal radiation because it allows the linear accelerator to adjust fields during radiation treatment that conforms precisely to the tumor and appropriate margins. This effect spares tissue to a greater degree than previously possible.
IMRT has a low toxicity rate and is the leading external beam radiation therapy when it comes to curtailing cancer. IMRT is the preferred external beam modality used in our office and we readily extend this treatment to our patients.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a treatment similar to central nervous system (CNS) stereotactic radiosurgery; however, SBRT only treats tumors outside of the CNS using a specially designed system that locates cancerous tumors in a patient’s body.
SBRT delivers a greater dose of radiation than regular radiation treatment, applying the doses over a span of 10 days. While conventional treatment success rates range between 30-40%, SBRT treatments have an 80-90% success rate and patients who receive SBRT treatments experience drastically better outcomes than those who undergo conventional therapy. Despite the high dosage of radiation, patients don’t experience as many side effects as they do with conventional therapy.
Lung patients are good candidates for SBRT as well as patients who have small tumors.
Radiation Therapy FAQ
Although radiation therapy can be somewhat scary, the staff and medical team at Littleton Radiation and Medical Oncology is here to provide you the comfort and the facts you need when seeking cancer treatment. We specialize in three different types of radiation therapy and have helped thousands of patients rid their bodies of cancer. Have questions? Allow us to answer some of your common questions regarding radiation therapy.
Q: WHAT IS RADIATION THERAPY?
A: X-rays, gamma rays and charged particles are types of radiation used for cancer treatment. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells by targeting their DNA. It may be delivered by a machine outside the body, or it may come from radioactive materials placed in the body or near cancer cells. About half of cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy during the course of their treatment with us.
Q: DOES RADIATION THERAPY KILL ONLY CANCER CELLS?
A: No, radiation therapy also damages normal cells if not properly prepared and/or used. Doctors take account for potential damage to normal cells when planning for cancer treatment; they are aware of how much radiation normal tissue can safely receive.
Q: WHY DO PATIENTS RECEIVE RADIATION THERAPY?
A: Radiation therapy is often given to hopefully cure a person’s cancer. It may be used alone, or in combination with surgery, chemotherapy or both. If a person is suffering from cancer, a doctor may recommend radiation therapy to relieve symptoms of cancer.
Q: HOW IS RADIATION THERAPY GIVEN TO PATIENTS?
A: Radiation can come from a machine outside the body, or may come from radioactive materials placed in the body near the cancer cells. Systemic radiation therapy uses a radioactive substance that is given by mouth or inserted into a vein and travels to multiple tissues throughout a person’s body.
Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!