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 Radiation Therapy

The Radiation Program at The Carlo Fidani Regional Cancer Centre has continually strived to be at the leading edge of cancer treatment. The inviting open concept treatment and waiting areas complement the state-of-the-art equipment that is used to deliver some of the most advanced treatment options available:

Image Guided Radiation Treatment (IGRT)
Volumetric Modulated Arc Treatment (VMAT)
Total Skin Electron Therapy (TSE)
Stereotactic Body Radiation Treatment (SBRT)
Prone Breast Treatment
Brachytherapy Treatment
Stereotactic Radiation Surgery (SRS)

Our team approach to treatment delivery is the philosophy of our program. By relying on the power of teamwork we have created efficiencies that help us maintain some of the best wait times in the province. The philosophy of teamwork is also essential to our innovations around quality of care as we continually seek to go beyond the traditional boundaries of health care.

Together with our patients, families, and loved ones we work together to create a plan that will meet their physical, emotional, informational, and supportive needs. We start first with the patient and their family, identifying a patient's needs, share a plan of care, and then invest in the results to enhance survivorship. By using this approach we can ensure that through trust and guidance a patient's radiation journey is a meaningful experience.


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Helpful Questions & Answers about Radiation Therapy

Q: Does radiation therapy hurt?
No, radiation is like getting an x-ray.

Q: What are the possible side effects of radiation therapy?
The side effects that you may experience will depend on the amount of radiation delivered and the area of your body being treated. Your health care team will talk to you about the side effects that you may experience before you start your radiation treatment and give you tips on how to manage them. Always let your health care team know about any side effects you experience, even if they seem minor.

Q: Will I be radioactive?
If you have external beam radiation treatment the answer is no, you will not be radioactive. You can still enjoy the same contact with family and friends without fear of exposing them to radiation.

For most types of Brachytherapy Treatment the answer is no, you will not be radioactive. Some Brachytherapy treatments use radioactive sources which are put into your body and are not taken out. Your health care team will tell you about if this is the type of treatment you will have.

Q: What is a tattoo?
A tattoo is a permanent freckle sized mark or dot that will always be on your skin. Tattoos are used by the radiation therapists to find the precise area of your body that will be treated every day.

Q: How long does it take?
The radiation machine is only turned on for a few minutes for each treatment. The radiation therapy appointments are about 15 minutes long. It takes this amount of time to make sure that you are in the same position for the treatment every day. However there are some procedures, like Brachytherapy, that may take longer than 15 minutes and you will be told about that before your appointment.

Q: Do I have to come every day for treatment?
The radiation oncologist will tell you how many treatments you will have.  If you are to have many treatments you will likely come every day for treatments. 

Q: Can I come at any time for my treatment?
You will be given specific appointments, and you will be notified ahead of time if changes need to be made.

Brachytherapy Program

Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy treatment where a radioactive source is placed inside or next to the area where the cancer is. Brachytherapy may be used for cancers of the prostate, uterus, vagina, cervix, breast, skin, lung or esophagus.
Your radiation oncologist will talk to you about the available treatment options. You and your radiation oncologist will create a specific treatment plan. Brachytherapy may be used alone or together with other treatment types such as surgery, radiation therapy (also known as external beam radiation therapy) and chemotherapy.
There are many steps involved in Brachytherapy:

  • Education and information
  • Pre-treatment assessment & tests (such as blood tests or x-rays)
  • Treatment planning
  • Brachytherapy treatment
  • Follow-up


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For more information about Brachytherapy at The Carlo Fidani Regional Cancer Centre:

click to open pdf file Backgrounder on Brachytherapy
click to open pdf file Press release on Brachytherapy
Video of Brachytherapy »