Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is a very precise type of external beam radiation
. It allows your doctor to focus radiation where it needs to go without hurting healthy tissue. In this way, it is able to reduce side effects
How It Works
Tumors can move, and if radiation beams aren’t right on-target, they can be less effective and hurt healthy tissue. IGRT combines imaging
and treatment in one machine. This allows your doctor to track tumors in real-time so he can make tiny adjustments to where the radiation should be focused.
This accuracy allows your doctor to use higher doses of radiation to control or kill the cancer, without causing unnecessary side effects
. IGRT allows the full dose of radiation to be delivered in one session or over several sessions, depending on your needs. You can usually return home right after your treatment.
Generally, patients experience few or no side effects from radiation therapy. Fatigue is the side effect most often reported, it is usually not very severe. Most patients can often continue all or some of their normal daily activities with a reduced schedule. Many patients continue to work full time during radiation therapy.
If you experience side effects, they will usually begin by the second or third week of treatment, and may last for several weeks after the final treatment. In rare instances, serious side effects can develop after radiation therapy is finished. Talk with members of your radiation oncology team about any side effects you’re having. They can give you information about how to manage them and may prescribe medicines that can help provide relief.