The Lynn Cancer Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital offers a wide range of state-of-the-art radiation therapy options – including the most advanced technology available.

Radiation therapy is one of the most common cancer treatments, used for more than half of people with cancer – either alone or with another cancer treatment. If your cancer can be treated with radiation therapy, our radiation oncology team will develop a personalized treatment plan that includes the right treatment option and approach for your type of cancer. We will discuss with you the details of your cancer, the radiation treatment we will use and what to expect from your treatment.

How does radiation therapy work?

Our radiation oncologists work with your cancer treatment team to determine the best approach – external or internal – and develop a schedule for your treatments.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays, electrons, or other sources of radiation to target and destroy or damage cancer cells and shrink tumors.

Radiation is delivered to the cancer cells either externally or internally.

  • External radiation therapy uses machines to direct the beam of radiation to specific areas of the body where cancer cells are present.
  • Internal radiation therapy places radioactive sources into the tumor or as close to the tumor site as possible.

What radiation therapy treatments are used at the Lynn Cancer Institute?

Depending on your personalized treatment plan, your radiation therapy may include the use of the Lynn Cancer Institute’s state-of-the-art machines and techniques to deliver radiation externally, including:

  • Radiosurgery, using:
    • CyberKnife
    • Novalis TX™
  • Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT)
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), using:
    • Varian RapidArc®

Other radiation therapy options include:

  • Brachytherapy
    • AccuBoost™
  • Radioimmunotherapy/drug therapies
    • TheraSphere®
    • SIR-Spheres®

The Lynn Cancer Institute is committed to ensuring our cancer patients have access to the most advanced technology available, and we continually update our radiation treatment equipment.

How experienced is the radiation oncology team?

The radiation oncology team at the Lynn Cancer Institute has worked together for many years. Our team members have spent 10, 25 and 30 years – or more – with the program. Some have dedicated their entire career to this team of highly trained, skilled professionals. Our dedication to each other and our patients is evident as soon as you meet any member of our team. It feels like a family. And we pledge to treat you like a member of our family.

Our Approach

Our Approach

Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer, either alone or with another cancer treatment. As a member of your multimodality cancer treatment team, our radiation oncologists know the treatments you’ve received – surgery, chemotherapy, etc. – and the outcome of each treatment.

Our radiation oncology team knows each patient and each cancer is unique. That’s why the whole radiation therapy team comes together to design your treatment plan.

Before you start radiation therapy, you will meet with the radiation oncologist, who will review your cancer treatment plan and the results of any treatments you’ve already completed. Depending on the type and location of the cancer, your physician will determine the best approach – internal or external – and modality (machine or equipment) to use for your radiation treatment.

Once the approach to your radiation treatment is determined, you will come in for treatment simulation. This is a treatment planning CT scan for your radiation therapy and helps your team know exactly where to send the radiation. Your treatment plan is designed after simulation and includes the amount of radiation and beam targeting used for each treatment and the number of treatments you will need.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • More than half of people with cancer are treated with some form of radiation therapy. Hundreds of thousands of these patients are cancer survivors, whether they received radiation therapy alone or in conjunction with other cancer therapy. Radiation therapy is sometimes combined with chemotherapy, which is a systemic treatment that reaches all parts of the body through the bloodstream. Radiation therapy is sometimes combined with surgery. Radiation can improve the outcomes of chemotherapy by providing another means of reducing tumor size. Chemotherapy can improve the outcome of radiation by sensitizing cancer cells to radiation effects. To learn more about chemotherapy, visit The Center for Hematology-Oncology at www.centerforhemonc.cancercenter.cc/

    Radiation is sometimes used after surgery to prevent any remaining cancer cells from growing. It can stop the cancer from returning, or spreading to other parts of the body. Regrettably, cancer cannot always be stopped from spreading. Radiation therapy can improve the quality of life for terminally ill patients, by reducing their pain, the size of the tumor and cancer symptoms.

  • The side effects of radiation therapy vary from one person to another. Most side effects of radiation therapy are limited to the area of your body being treated. They can also depend on your age, general health and whether you have had other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. Your radiation oncologist will talk with you about any potential side effects of your specific treatment before treatment begins.

  • You cannot feel the radiation while it is being given. Sometimes the skin becomes tender where it is irradiated.

  • Radiation only causes hair loss where the beam enters and exits the body. It is unlike some chemotherapy agents that cause all body hair to fall out.

  • If you are receiving external beam radiation, you should be prepared for 30 minutes from the time you arrive in the department to the time you leave. The radiation treatment time may only take a few minutes. The additional time is spent preparing for your treatment. Some types of radiation treatment such as Brachytherapy, SRS and SBRT will require longer times in the department. Your clinicians will inform you of the approximate times that you should expect.

  • The number of treatments will be determined by the radiation oncologist.

  • If you drove to the radiation treatment, you will be able to drive home.

  • External radiation does not make you radioactive.

Meet the Team

Meet the Team

The radiation oncology team works together to ensure you have the highest quality of care and all the support you need during your radiation therapy treatment schedule. Your team includes:

  • Radiation oncologist – a doctor specially trained to treat cancer with radiation and oversee your care
  • Radiation therapist – a therapist trained and licensed to deliver radiation therapy under the supervision of your radiation oncologist
  • Radiation oncology nurse - a registered nurse trained in oncology who will coordinate your care during your radiation treatment
  • Medical physicists – a physicist with advanced training and certification who helps design your treatment plan and monitors the radiation treatment machines for accuracy and to ensure they are working properly
  • Dosimetrist – a medical professional with knowledge in radiology, physics, and anatomy and physiology, who make sure the right amount of radiation is delivered during your radiation treatment

You will also have the help and support of your social worker, nutritionist and every member of the radiation oncology team.

Clinical Trials

Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.