Radiation Therapy and Gynecological Cancers

Overview

Radiation therapy plays an important role in treating gynecological cancers, particularly cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers. It may be used either on its own or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapy.

For external beam radiation, we offer image-guided therapies that can minimize toxicity to nearby organs (bowel, bladder and rectum). By using advanced imaging technologies such as positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and three-dimensional computed tomography (CT) scans, our team can accurately determine the tumor’s location so radiation delivery can be more focused and intense on cancer cells.

Combined with advanced radiation delivery systems (such as TomoTherapy), our team can accurately focus radiation on tumor sites while avoiding nearby normal tissues. In the two left images below, the glowing areas are gynecologic tumors that disappeared (in the right images) after TomoTherapy treatment.

 

City of Hope also offers brachytherapy (internal radiation) for patients as well. Our expertise in high dose radiation (HDR) brachytherapy, which delivers greater doses of radiation to the cancer in a matter of minutes – not days – means that the tumor can be treated more effectively while minimizing exposure to nearby normal tissue, reducing likelihood and severity of side effects.

 

 

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