Radiation Therapy for Thyroid Cancer
Radiation therapy uses high-powered X-rays, seeds or radioactive material to shrink or destroy your tumor.
- Image Guidance Makes Targeting Tumors More Precise
At Scott & White, we use Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) during the course of our radiation oncology treatments in areas of the body that are prone to movement. IGRT is the use of frequent imaging during your radiation therapy treatment to ensure absolute accuracy of treatment.
Benefits of IGRT include:
- Patient and tumor motion tracked with the use of image guidance
- Radiation beam adjusted in response to current tumor image to maintain accuracy and reduce likelihood of harming nearby tissue
- Helps target tumors to sub-millimeter accuracy
- Features computerized robotic delivery and stereotactic localization imaging
- Requires an imaging series, which is transferred to computer, before treatment begins
- Used in conjunction with IMRT, 3DCRT and stereotactic radiotherapy
For more information, see Image-Guided Radiation Therapy on RadiologyInfo.org.
Respiratory Gating Helps Minimize Damage to Healthy Tissue
Radiation therapy for cancer may include an advanced imaging technique called respiratory gating. Respiratory gating is a system that monitors your tumor as you breathe during your cancer treatment to allow for greater accuracy during your breathing cycle.
As technology has gotten better, we've found that we can deliver much higher doses of radiation, where we’re killing a lot more cancer, or cancer cells, than we were before. We can deliver the radiation to the tumor and spare the normal tissues around the tumor, which is allowing us to have much better outcomes and much higher tumor control.
Scott & White’s Approach
Scott & White’s mission to provide personalized, comprehensive care is the foundation for our radiation therapy program.
Our approach at Scott & White is in individualizing therapy. “We calculate your dosage cloud so that it will look exactly like the shape of your tumor,” says Nitika Thawani, MD, Radiation Oncology.
Our radiation oncologists take meticulous care in determining the precise radiation therapy protocol for you. Several factors impact their decision, including the type, location and stage of your specific tumor and your overall medical condition.
How Radiation Therapy Is Used to Treat Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid cancer is infrequently treated with radiation therapy.
However, radiation therapy is used in some cases:
- If your cancer has returned
- If your cancer hasn’t responded well to radioactive iodine therapy
- As palliation — to ease the symptoms of metastatic thyroid cancer, such as bone pain
Types of Radiation Therapy
Scott & White offers the following types of radiation therapy to treat thyroid cancer:
- Radioiodine Ablation – Radioactive Iodine (RAI)
- External-Beam Radiation Therapy
Side Effects of Radiation Therapy
Each radiation therapy approach is different and each person’s reaction to it can vary. At Scott & White, your radiation oncologist will see you through treatment and help you manage any side effects.
For more information about side effects, please talk to your radiation oncologist.