Radiation therapy uses high energy particles or waves to destroy or damage cancer cells in a specified area. For most people, treatments are given 5 days a week for 1 to 7 weeks. The number of treatments you need depends on the size and type of cancer, where the cancer is, how healthy you are, and what other treatments you are getting. External radiation therapy is like getting an x-ray. It is painless and only takes a few minutes. The side effects of radiation therapy vary depending on where the radiation is directed.
New, advanced technology combined with our experienced, knowledgeable physician team and staff means your treatments are on par with facilities across the Northwest. All the cancer care and services a patient needs are located here under one roof: medical oncology, radiation oncology, infusion therapy, financial counselors, social work and a cancer nutritionist. This level of care provides you the opportunity to stay at home during treatments. It allows you to be near the support of family and friends, which in itself is some of the very best care you can receive.
Please note that at any time you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact our staff at (208) 239-1720.
Portneuf Cancer Center-Radiation Oncology
The Elekta Infinity is utilized to deliver daily radiation treatments to our patients. The machine has the ability to perform a variety of treatments that range from simple electron treatments to complex 3D and IMRT treatments. The utilities also allow for our radiation therapist and doctor to visualize the tumor and normal tissues on a daily basis through a cone beam CT.
To see how a how a linear accelerator works, please click HERE
Toshiba Aquilion Large Bore CT is utilized to CT the patient in treatment position. The large bore allow for more freedom in set-up position.
- 3D conformal
- IMRT Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy
- VMAT Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy
- IGRT Image Guided Radiation Therapy
- SBRT- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy is a treatment which target a well-defined tumor with a very high dose of radiation over a short period of time.
- SRS-Stereotactic Radiosurgery- is TBD
- Left Breast patients who qualify are treated utilize a deep-inspiration breath hold technique to help push the heart away from the treatment field.
Radiation Treatment Process
What to expect at the time of consultation?
The consultation with the Radiation Oncologist will be an opportunity to visit with the Dr. about your diagnosis and the ways your cancer can be treated. Cancer is treated with a multi-disciplinary approach. This allows the patient the opportunity to visit with all three aspects of your care (Surgeon, Medical Oncologist, and Radiation Oncologist).
What to expect on the day of your radiation simulation (Sim)?
The simulation will take place in the radiation oncology department. You will be greeted by a radiation therapist who will instruct you on what to change into for the simulation. You will be accompanied back to the CT simulator where you will be set-up in the treatment position which you will receive your radiation therapy treatment in. This position varies depending on where the cancer is located.
What to expect on the first day of treatment?
The first day of treatment will be the longest appointment after the CT simulation. The first day of treatment will include the treatment itself and a verification simulation (V-Sim) on the treatment machine. The V-Sim will verify you are in the same position as the original simulation and verify that the trajectory and shape of the treatment beams are correct.
What to expect for your on treatment visits (OTVs) with doctor during treatment?
Once a week during radiation treatments the physician and nurse will meet with you to discuss and address questions and concerns that you may have during the treatment process.
Side Effects of Treatment
To learn more about side effects of treatment, please reference our Survivor’s Guide.
- General Side Effects & Tools to Manage Them, page 22-24
- Radiation Therapy, page 25-28
Please don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or a cancer care team member about side effects, we have more information available.
Radiation Treatment Team
3 Board Certified Radiation Oncologist
1 Radiation Oncology Nurse
3 Certified Radiation Therapists
1 Certified Medical Dosimetrist
1 Board Certified Medical Physicist
Board Certified Radiation Oncologist– The radiation oncologist is a physician who has received special training on utilizing radiation to treat cancer. They work in combination with other cancer physicians (surgeons & medical oncologist) to determine the best mode of treatment for your particular cancer. He/She will prescribe a certain amount of radiation to treat the tumor and oversee the construction of the treatment plan for each individual patient.
Radiation Oncology Nurse-The Oncology nurse is an essential part of your care. He/She will help you throughout treatment mange your care in combination with the radiation oncologist and insure that you are given the proper resources to maintain optimal progress through your radiation treatments.
Certified Radiation Therapists-The radiation therapist have received special training on delivering the prescribed radiation confidently and precisely. You will interact with the radiation therapist on a daily basis as they set you up for your treatment and participate in your care.
Certified Medical Dosimetrist– Under the direction of the radiation oncologist and medical physicist the dosimetrist arranges the x-ray beam to treat the cancer while limiting the dose to the normal tissue sounding the tumor or tumor bed.
Board Certified Medical Physicist –The medical physicist is responsible for the quality assurance of the treatment machine and the radiation oncology department. He/She will verify that the equipment delivers the planned amount of radiation accurately and safely.