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Radiation Oncology Services

Both high dose (HDR) and low dose (LDR) brachytherapy are performed at NorthShore University HealthSystem. Brachytherapy is a radiation treatment utilizing a radioactive source (high or low dose) that is temporaily placed inside the body adjacent to or in the tumor.

Deep Inspiration Breast Hold (DIBH)
A sophisticated technique used to deliver radiotherapy to the left breast while reducing any incidental radiation dose to the heart or nearby organs. Therapists use an advanced imaging system which monitors the breath hold to ensure the treatment delivery is consistently in the same place. This imaging along with the reduction of patient motion, allows for a more precise dose to the tumor while decreasing the dose to adjacent tissue.

External Beam Radiotherapy
High doses of radiation delivered from a machine (Linear Accelerator) to a localized area of disease.

Hypofractionated Radiation Therapy
Hypofractionated radiation therapy is a form of external beam radiation where a higher dose of radiation per treatment is delivered to the tumor over a shorter period of time. The advantage of hypofractionation is the ability to reduce the treatment time from 5-6 weeks to 3-4 weeks. This allows patients to go back to their lives in less time than they would having conventional treatments. Recent clinical trials have proven that  this therapy is comparable to standard radiation in efficacy and surprisingly often less toxic than standard treatment. While not all patients are candidates for hypofractionated radiation therapy,  our team reviews each case and works with the patient to develop a personalized care plan.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
A method of radiation delivery in which doses are delivered to a precise location though the use of internally placed markers and daily imaging. This can allow for a higher treatment dose to the tumor.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
A method of radiation delivery in which doses are electronically manipulated in an effort to increase exposure to tumors while decreasing exposure to healthy tissues.

Prone Breast Treatment
A unique approach to treating breast cancer, where the patient lays comfortably in the prone position. This technique is used to isolate the area for treatment. Having the breast away from the body minimizes the radiation exposure to the surrounding organs and tissues including the heart and lungs. Prone breast treatments are not for every body type but our Radiation Oncologists work with each patient to tailor individual treatment plans for all patients’ unique needs.

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT)
A specialized form of radiation treatment in which a high treatment dose is precisely delivered to a small area of the body over the course of one to five treatments.