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What is Radiation Therapy?

The Florida Hospital Cancer Institute offers the latest and most effective treatments for cancer, including radiation therapy in Orlando for residents of Central Florida and the surrounding regions. During radiation therapy, targeted energy such as X-rays or radioactive substances are used to destroy cancer cells, shrink tumors, and/or alleviate certain cancer-related symptoms. Radiation therapy is rarely necessary for colon cancer except in rare cases of extremely large tumors that invade other structures.  On the other hand, radiation therapy is a common component of rectal cancer treatment due to the narrow confines of the bony pelvis and the sometimes difficult task of getting negative margins with surgery alone.  Each case is individualized and discussed by a multidisciplinary team of physicians. To learn more about radiation therapy in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

Types of Radiation Therapy

There are three types of radiation therapy- external, internal and systematic.   

  • External beam radiation therapy – External therapies involve using a machine to generate radiation, directing the beam to precise targets. (Examples: 3D conformal radiation therapy, IMRT, IGRT, TomoTherapy, stereotactic radiosurgery)
  • Internal radiation therapy – Internal therapies use radioactive substances that are inserted into the area and placed on or near cancerous tissues. (Example: high-dose rate brachytherapy)
  • Systemic radiation therapy – a radioactive substance (that is swallowed or injected) travels through the blood to locate and destroy cancerous cells. (Example: radioactive iodine therapy)

Radiation therapy may be used:

  • As a primary treatment to destroy cancer cells
  • In combination with other treatments to stop the growth of cancer cells
  • Before another treatment to shrink a tumor
  • After another treatment to stop the growth of any remaining cancer cells
  • To relieve symptoms of advanced cancer
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Managing the Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

At the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, our specialized radiation therapy care team will be on hand to help you and your family manage the side effects of this treatment. 

Similar to an X-ray, radiation therapy is a painless procedure with each treatment lasting only a few minutes. Radiation treatments are typically administered 5 days a week over several weeks or months. Side effects from radiation therapy for stomach cancer can include:

Skin problems, ranging from redness to blistering and peeling, in the area where the radiation passed through
Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea
Fatigue
Low blood cell counts

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Radiation Therapy for Stomach Cancer

Depending on the type of gastrointestinal (stomach) cancer you are diagnosed with, your treatment may include radiation therapy. 

Types of stomach cancer treated with radiation therapy include:

  • Adenocarcinoma of the stomach
  • Lymphoma of the stomach

In most cases, stomach cancer radiation therapy is delivered by a machine outside of the body. This is called external beam radiation. 

Radiation treatment may help:

  • Destroy cancer cells that remain after stomach cancer surgery
  • Shrink tumors
  • Alleviate pain
  • Stop bleeding
  • Decrease the risk of cancer recurrence in the same area of the body
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Request an Appointment

To learn more about radiation therapy in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

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