Radiation Therapy for Melanoma
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.
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 Melanoma
Radiation therapy is infrequently used to treat the original melanoma on your skin.
However, your physician team may recommend radiation therapy if:
- Your tumor covers a large area of skin, making surgery difficult.
- You are not a good candidate for surgery.
Radiation therapy for melanoma is used in some cases:
- To destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery.
- To help reduce the chances of your cancer returning.
- To treat any cancer that has spread to your lymph nodes or other parts of your body.
- As a palliative to ease the pain and symptoms associated with advanced metastatic melanoma.
In many cases, your skin cancer treatment may include a combination of approaches. At Scott & White, we explore every treatment option, considering surgical and nonsurgical alternatives.
Types of Radiation Therapy
Scott & White offers the following types of radiation therapy to treat melanoma:
- External-Beam Radiation Therapy