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Dr. Barry Uhl, radiation oncology, is a Sharp-affiliated specialist who treats patients at the David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. Dr. Uhl answers important questions below regarding radiation cancer treatment.
How does radiation therapy treat cancer?
Often used in combination with other types of cancer treatments, such as surgery and chemotherapy, radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells. The goal of radiation therapy is to kill cancer cells while preserving healthy, normal cells and surrounding tissue. In cases when curing cancer is not possible, palliative radiation therapy can be used to shrink or reduce the size of the tumor, providing the patient with relief from pain, pressure or other symptoms. More than half of all people with cancer undergo some form of radiation therapy.
Sharp offers a cutting-edge form of radiation therapy, TomoTherapy Hi-Art System. What are the benefits of this type of treatment?
The challenge with radiation therapy is to minimize damage to healthy cells and tissue while treating cancer cells. TomoTherapy allows for extreme precision in treating specific areas of the body by combining two key technologies:
What types of cancers can be treated with TomoTherapy?
The sophisticated technology of TomoTherapy allows the system to be fast and flexible, helping radiation oncologists treat everything from a small tumor to large areas of the body, as well as multiple sites simultaneously. TomoTherapy can be used on a daily basis to treat prostate, lung, head and neck cancer, and other challenging sites. It can also be used to re-treat cancers after previous radiation therapy.
What are the advantages of TomoTherapy over other stereotactic radiation systems?
TomoTherapy offers shorter treatment times, CT-based image guidance for extreme precision in targeting the tumor and the ability to treat multiple target areas simultaneously. TomoTherapy also enables noninvasive head and body stabilization, eliminating the need for invasive stability frames or implanted markers.
I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer. How do I know if TomoTherapy treatment is right for me?
Ask your physician if this new technique is right for you. As each patient’s case varies, your physician is most familiar with the details of your case. He or she can best evaluate the treatment options that are most appropriate for you.
Find a San Diego Oncologist
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego oncologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.