Radiation Oncology

The Providence Saint John's radiation oncology team is composed of experts in their field including  physicians, nurses, radiation therapists, physicists and other trained personnel who have earned widespread respect in the medical community.  In addition, the Vasek Polak Radiation Oncology Department at Providence Saint John's Health Center offers the latest in radiation therapy technology, including intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), ACCULOC® image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), brachytherapy and 3-D conformal radiotherapy, and is the only facility in the area to offer the new Trilogy Linear Accelerator with RapidArc™. As a result, patients come to Providence Saint John's from around the world.

Focused cancer treatment

Radiation therapy is one of the most effective ways to combat cancer and is used to treat cancer by itself or in combination with other forms of treatment, most often surgery or chemotherapy. It works by focusing a beam of ionizing radiation on the cancerous growth or implanting radioactive sources in the cancerous area.

Only a specific area is treated so that there is minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue.  Radiation therapy has been used to treat both malignant and benign tumors for nearly a century and plays an integral role in the successful treatment of cancer today.

Patient-centered care

The Providence Saint John's team believes in the importance of caring for the whole patient, placing an emphasis on providing for both the physical and emotional comfort of the patient throughout the course of treatment. External beam radiation therapy is a non-invasive, painless procedure so there are no knives, needles or anesthetics involved. Radiation therapy can also be performed on an outpatient basis, without the need for a hospital stay. The radiation oncologist will determine the number and frequency of treatments, based on your needs. The typical course of treatment is over a two-week to eight-week period, five days a week.