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Radiation therapy

An oncologist is a type of doctor who deals with diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer. One type of treatment an oncologist may use is radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is able to kill cancer cells through beams of strong energy.

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Radiation oncology in Virginia

You deserve effective treatment from a team of skilled oncologists.

At HCA Virginia Health System, we handle every cancer diagnosis with expert care and compassion. When you seek treatment at one of our hospitals, you'll receive comprehensive care from a team of nurses, oncologists and radiation therapists, no matter your cancer stage.

Have cancer questions?

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated, confidential helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7.

Our radiation therapy services

Our board-certified radiation oncologists use advanced technology to provide you with faster, safer and more precise cancer treatments.

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy, also called radiation oncology and radiotherapy, is an advanced form of cancer treatment that uses beams of high-dose radiation to kill cancer cells in the body. It can also help shrink tumors. During radiation therapy, the beams are aimed at precise locations in the body, in order to target the cancerous area while sparing surrounding body tissue.

We take a highly personalized approach to radiation therapy. When you first meet with our team, we will take the time to carefully review your case, talk to you about what you can expect from your treatment and map out an individualized treatment plan.


Types of radiation therapy we offer

We offer various types of radiation therapy, and the type that is best for you will depend on your health condition, what kind of cancer you have and where it is located in your body.

You and your physician typically choose from two general types of radiation therapy — brachytherapy or external beam radiation therapy. They may also suggest using a combination of both therapies to treat your specific type of cancer.

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy involves the internal application of a radiation source. One of the most commonly prescribed forms of brachytherapy is high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy.

HDR brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that delivers radiation from implants placed close to or inside of the tumor. This treatment involves inserting a source of radioactive material — often called a "seed" — into a body cavity. For treatment of gynecologic cancer or breast cancer, this sealed source is sent into the body through a catheter for a short period of time, usually just a few minutes.


External beam radiation

During external beam radiation, beams of high-energy X-rays are delivered to the patient externally (from outside of their body). We offer many types of external beam radiation services, including:

  • Conformal radiation therapy (CRT): This cancer treatment shapes the radiation beams to match the shape of the tumor. This treatment drastically reduces the amount of healthy tissue that is damaged during the process.
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT): This therapy is used to treat tumors in areas of the body that move, such as the lungs. Our radiation oncologists will capture an image of your tumor before and during treatment. Then they will compare these images, so that your position or the radiation beams can be adjusted to more precisely target the tumor.
  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT): IMRT technology uses linear accelerators to deliver precise radiation to a tumor while minimizing the radiation to surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT): SBRT uses a coordinate system to precisely pinpoint tumors in the body. This therapy uses high doses of radiation over a shorter period of time with optimal accuracy.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS): This therapy uses an X-ray beam to shrink or control the growth of a tumor. It does this by either killing the cells directly or disrupting the cells' ability to grow.

About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute

As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.

askSARAH helpline

Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (804) 591-4152.

Sarah Cannon Institute at HCA Virginia Health System hospitals

We are proud to join the leading network of experts from Sarah Cannon to create a new era of collaborative cancer care. Working together, we are redefining cancer care, so you can fight the disease where you get your greatest strength: in your own community, with the support of friends and family nearby.

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