External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
There are several EBRT procedures, each using a specific type of radiation delivered from outside the body.
The procedures vary in the intensity and types of radiation used.
Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)
Using 3D scans, oncologists can deliver radiation in the precise shape and size of the tumor, keeping the radiation away from healthy cells.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
IMRT uses multiple small beams of radiation of varying intensity to better target a growth.
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
This procedure uses computer imaging technology to develop a picture of the cancerous tumor. This helps guide the radiation beam during therapy.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)
During SBRT, the cancer patient is positioned using special equipment to allow the equipment to precisely deliver large doses of radiation.
High-dose radiation therapy
In the high-dose radiation therapy procedure, a powerful radioactive source is placed in the body for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, usually a couple of times a day for a few days.
This differs from internal radiation therapy as no radiative material is left in the body between treatments.
Internal radiation therapy/Brachytherapy
This radiation treatment includes placing a radioactive implant inside the body near the affected area. The implant might be temporary (days or weeks) or permanent.
This kind of radiation therapy helps deliver a consistent dosage to keep cancer cells from returning.