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what is radiation oncology

Radiation Therapy Services

The department of Radiology Oncology at Torrance Memorial offers a full array of radiation services, including:

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
  • IMRT
  • Intracavitary Therapy
  • CT, MRI and PET fusion
  • 3-D Conformal Radiation Therapy
  • Conventional External Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Partial Breast Brachytherapy
  • Digital Imaging
  • Interstitial Therapy
  • High Dose Rate Brachytherapy

How Radiation Therapy Works

The photon beam used in radiation treatment is the same kind of beam used in ordinary chest x-rays or CT scans. However, it has much higher energy and can cause changes in the nucleus of cells. Both normal tissues and the tumor tissues will undergo these tiny breaks; however the normal cells will repair these changes better than tumor cells can. Patients will not feel the invisible beam passing through them. External Beam Radiation is a local treatment. It only works where we aim the beam. The radiation does not circulate through your body and your friends and family are not exposed to any radiation.

For some cancers, an implant is used to deliver the radiation therapy. In some gynecologic cancers, radioactive rods are placed within the vagina or uterus for a short time, to deliver highly localized radiation.

Adverse effects vary from patient to patient and are determined by the location of the treatment, the dose required for treatment and the patients’ pre-existing condition. The radiation oncologist, nurse and therapist will discuss the likely side effects with each patient individually.

Every aspect of the patient’s care is given meticulous attention to ensure that the patient is treated efficiently and precisely and will experience the fewest possible side effects. Our physicists, dosimetrists and radiation therapists conduct daily, weekly and monthly checks on the department’s equipment to ensure optimum performance. The treatment team has weekly meetings where every patient’s treatment is reviewed and discussed in detail.

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Radiation Oncology at Torrance Memorial Medical Center


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