Wendt Cancer External Beam Radiation | UnityPoint Health - Dubuque

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External Beam Radiation

One of the common forms of radiation therapy is external beam radiation therapy. This technique involves directing a "beam" of radiation from outside of your body to the cancerous organ and/or tissue within your body. Recent advances in radiation therapy can more accurately target the tumor with higher doses of radiation, while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. External beam radiation therapy poses no risk of radioactivity to you or others with whom you have contact, which means you can continue normal activities with families and friends. 

How is external beam radiation applied?

External beam radiation is applied by a linear accelerator, a high-energy x-ray machine. The linear accelerator directs the radiation at the tumor. The procedure itself lasts only a few minutes. It is administered over a period of six to eight weeks and is typically done five days a week.