Radiation Oncology

Get advanced radiation treatments for cancer close to home. At UnityPoint Health, our radiation oncology specialists use radiation therapies to treat many types of cancer, including prostate and breast cancers. 

What Is Radiation Oncology?

Doctors use radiation oncology (also called radiation therapy) to treat many types of cancer. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to damage the building blocks of cancer cells and stop them from growing or spreading. When cancer cells can no longer multiply, they no longer pose a threat to your health and the body gets rid of them. 

For certain types of cancer, radiation therapy is the only type of treatment needed, while other types of cancer are treated with a combination approach. Radiation may also be used to provide temporary relief of symptoms, or to treat malignancies (cancers) that cannot be removed with surgery.

There are two main types of radiation therapy:

  • External beam radiation uses a powerful machine (such as a linear accelerator) to carefully aim X-rays or gamma rays right at the tumor from outside the body.
  • Internal (brachytherapy) uses radioactive seeds (tiny vessels filled with radiation). A cancer doctor places the radioactive seeds inside your body, directly into or near the cancerous tumor.

Our cancer patients are assured of the most aggressive new methods, advanced treatment options and leading edge technology available today. We work hard to educate our patients and their family about their treatment process every step of the way. We view the family as an important part of the care we provide. Our ultimate goal is to provide accurate, precise and timely service to cure or relieve discomfort for the patient diagnosed with cancer.