Understanding Your Treatment Options
Radiation Therapy: What to Expect
While radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for urologic cancer, at AdventHealth Cancer Institute, we do it with uncommon expertise, guidance, and compassion. Using sophisticated radiation technology, we can target tumors in and around your kidneys, bladder, and prostate with amazing precision, easing your pain and leaving healthy tissue untouched. Depending on your diagnosis, your dedicated team may recommend radiation alone, but in many cases, we combine it with surgery, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy.
How Does Radiation Therapy Work?
Our oncology experts take an individualized approach to every patient’s treatment plan. Radiation therapy targets specific areas of the body, shrinking tumors and killing cancer cells by damaging their DNA.
When treating urological cancer, radiation therapy is usually delivered one of two ways:
- External radiation delivers radiation in a concentrated beam to keep nearby healthy tissue unaffected.
- Internal radiation guided by ultrasound or using our MRI-guided HDR brachytherapy, a minimally invasive method that delivers concentrated doses of radiation, keeping healthy nearby tissue safer.
How Do We Protect You During Radiation?
We don’t just preach whole-person care. We practice it. One of the ways we do that is by continuously seeking out new and innovative ways to make your treatments as safe and side-effect free as possible.
AdventHealth is proud to be the first hospital in Central Florida to offer SpaceOAR, a first-of-its-kind treatment that helps protect you during radiation treatment.
SpaceOAR is a temporary, injectable, non-toxic biodegradable gel that protects the rectum during radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Matthew Biagioli, MD, a radiation oncologist at Florida Hospital, is a national authority on the use of biodegradable gels. Dr. Biagioli led some of the initial studies on their use with prostate cancer. Most commonly used in combination with HDR Brachytherapy, the gel is placed prior to starting radiation treatment and significantly reduces the radiation dose to the surrounding tissue. SpaceOAR is the first and only prostate-cancer spacing device to receive clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Throughout your treatment, your nurses and your radiology care team are there to keep you and your support system informed, comfortable, and uplifted.