How Does It Work?
External beam radiation therapy, or EBRT, is a treatment option that delivers radiation to the target site from an external machine, typically called a linear accelerator, or linac. The linac generates high-energy radiation focused precisely on the tumor and delivered from many different angles to target each part of the tumor and deliver the prescribed amount of radiation. Radiation kills cancer cells by destroying their DNA, which interrupts their ability to reproduce. Normal cells can recover from radiation more easily.
When designing your treatment plan, your medical team relies on one or more types of 3-D scans of your body. These can include a CT scan, an MRI and/or a PET scan. By looking at these scans and other test results, the radiation oncologist and his or her team determines which EBRT technique is best suited for your particular case.
Key Advantages of Radiation Therapy
- Noninvasive, no incisions
- No anesthesia or hospitalization required
- Painless treatment
- Outpatient procedure
- Little to no recovery time
Radiation therapy may be an option for patients with:
- Medically inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or those who seek an alternative to surgery or conventional radiation therapy.
- Recurrent cancer or metastatic tumors that have spread to other areas of the body from the main tumor site.
- A high risk of developing complications after surgery.