Radiation Therapy

Also known as: radiotherapy, external beam radiation therapy.

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is a common form of cancer treatment. It refers to exposing the body to beams of radiation that are used to kill cancer cells and prevent them from coming back.

What happens during the procedure?

External beam radiation therapy is the most common form of radiation therapy. It involves the patient lying on a table while a machine known as a linear accelerator delivers radiation beams to the area of the body with cancer.

Sessions last 30-45 minutes.

Patients often receive treatment five days per week, with a break on the weekend for the body’s health cells to recover.

Is any special preparation needed?

Patients may require several tests prior to receiving radiation therapy. Computer tomography (CT) is used to simulate the patient to plan the treatment and find a comfortable position for treatment.

What are the side effects?

Hair loss, skin irritation, fatigue, dry mouth, nausea, mouth sores, headaches nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, cough, and frequent urination are a few of the many potential side effects of radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy services at Nicklaus Children's Hospital

Radiotherapy is an integral part of a multidisciplinary cancer treatment program. Radiation therapy can be given alone as a treatment. Radiation therapy services can also be combined with surgery or chemotherapy to enhance treatment.

The Cancer & Blood Disorders Center is equipped with the only MRI-guided radiation delivery system in the east coast, five modern linear accelerators, a Gamma Knife, CT simulation, and a high-dose rate brachytherapy unit to provide radiation treatment for children with cancer.

Proton Tomotherapy with the Miami Cancer Institute

The Nicklaus Children's Hospital Cancer & Blood Disorders Center offers proton tomotherapy radiation treatment for cancer through through our collaboration with the Miami Cancer Institute's Radiation Oncology Center. We offer state-of-the art radiation treatment with Radixact Tomotherapy from Accuracy and onsite CT simulation. 

Specialized Radiation Therapy Team

Our radiation therapy services are conducted by board certified radiation oncologists, medical physicists, board-certified radiation therapists, medical dosimetrists and other highly trained support staff.


Reviewed by: Matthew David Hall, MD

This page was last updated on: December 18, 2020 03:33 PM

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