Guided by Innovation
Fighting Cancer with the Most Advanced Radiation Treatment
Denver Radiation Oncology at Rose Cancer Center is a leading program delivering some of the most advanced radiation therapy options in the state of Colorado. Radiation oncology is a minimally invasive treatment utilizing high energy radiation to treat abnormal cells. In most cases, radiation is used to treat cancer, but other types of conditions may be treated as well. Radiation oncology is often used in conjunction with other types of therapies, such as chemotherapy and surgery. With advances in imaging technology, our oncology team is now better able to more precisely determine the site of the tumor—minimizing the effect on surrounding tissue.
Our advanced therapies often can place radiation treatment directly to the site of the tumor — delivering the most effective dose while sparing normal, healthy tissue.
Each Denver Radiation Oncology patient’s treatment plan is custom developed to deploy the most appropriate treatment while minimizing radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding the tumor. Our goal is to create the most precise method of delivery tailored to each patient specifically.
Offering Leading Treatments
Rose is one of the only facilities in the state to offer stereotactic radiosurgery, or SRS, which is a single-day procedure that delivers a large dose of precisely placed high energy x-ray beams to shrink or control the growth of a tumor. Using advanced computer planning, SRS allows our radiation oncologists to maximize the effect of the radiation on the abnormal cells, sparing more normal tissue.
Rose is also among the only hospitals in Denver to offer a prone breast board (pictured at right) for breast cancer patients’ treatment. Using the prone breast board, patients lie on their stomachs, rather than on their backs, which allows the healthy breast to stay closer to the body, better isolating the tumor, in addition to minimizing radiation to the surrounding organs such as the heart and lungs.
What to Expect
Each patient will meet with the radiation oncologist for a consultation and physical examination to discuss options and benefits of radiation therapy treatments. A comprehensive exam and past family/medical history will help determine correct options for treatment. If radiation therapy treatment is pursued, patients will then be set up with a simulation appointment. At this appointment, a CT scan will be performed for treatment planning. This is similar to a regular CT scan except that we’ll use an immobilization device (such as a mask, mold, or bean-bag type bag) that will allow us to develop exact positioning throughout your course of radiation therapy. Small tattoos may also be placed on the skin to guide your radiation therapy team to ensure proper setup each day.
Next, the dosimetrist, a member of your Denver Radiation Oncology team, will review your information and design a custom treatment plan which will outline the precise location of treatment. The dosimetrist works very closely with the radiation oncologist to deliver your treatment plan in the best way possible.
Before your radiation therapy treatments begin, you will come back for one more verification or “dry run” day. This day is very similar to what your treatment will be like but no radiation treatment will be delivered. Your radiation therapists will show you the treatment console area, describe what to expect, and set you up on the treatment table. Films will be taken to ensure proper positioning and drawings may be made for your medical records. Your radiation treatments will start the next day or following week.
During your radiation therapy course of treatment, an oncology nurse will be available at all times to assist you with any needs. You will also see the radiation oncologist once weekly for a quick visit.