About Radiation Therapy

What Happens During Radiation Therapy

You can receive external beam radiation treatment (EBRT) as an outpatient. Therefore, you will have your treatment at a clinic, where you will you come for your treatment each day and will not stay overnight. Usually you'll get a treatment five days a week for a total of seven to nine weeks, depending on the type and amount of radiation the doctor would like you get.

This type of radiation comes from a machine called a linear accelerator and is commonly used to treat prostate cancer. Treatment time for each treatment varies with the amount of radiation being delivered.

  • Conformal EBRT. This newer type of EBRT directs radiation at your prostate from several directions to help minimize the doses to surrounding healthy tissues. Many doctors now recommend conformal EBRT if it is available. Some types of conformal EBRT use higher doses of radiation for shorter periods of time which reduces the damage to healthy tissue.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This is a high-precision type of radiation therapy. It uses a computer to control both the shape and strength of the X-rays to precisely deliver radiation to specific places within a tumor, while minimizing the radiation exposure to surrounding normal tissues.

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