What is Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy is a form of cancer treatment that directs high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, electrons and other forms of radiation at malignancies. Radiation can be used alone or along with other forms of treatment such as chemotherapy or surgery. High doses of radiation destroy cancer cells or shrink tumours by damaging the DNA in the cell’s genes, making it impossible for them to grow and divide.
Radiation can be used curatively (radical treatment) or in a palliative setting to reduce pain, bleeding, or improve overall quality of life.
The Bahen Chant Radiation Treatment Centre is located on the Ground floor of the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre. Currently, the department houses 3 Elekta Infinity Linear Accelerators and 1 Philips Brillance CT simulator. In the future, the infrastructure allows the department to expand and house 3 more Linear Accelerators and an additional CT simulator. When fully expanded with 6 treatment units, the centre is able to treat over 2000 patients annually. All of our radiation therapy machines are equipped with image-guided radiation therapy capabilities and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), both considered the “gold standard” in radiation therapy equipment. Southlake is the first cancer centre in Ontario to be fully VMAT-enabled. This sophisticated equipment enables the healthcare team to target the area requiring treatment more accurately and precisely. In addition, this technology will allow daily treatments to be faster and efficient, potentially reducing side-effects for patients.
The Radiation Medicine Team responsible for your care consists of a compassionate and highly trained group of professionals who are dedicated to making your treatment process as smooth as possible. This group of professionals includes radiation oncologists, medical physicists, radiation therapists, nurses, dietitians, social workers and clerical staff.