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Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy is useful for treating cancer because cancer cells grow and divide more rapidly than the surrounding cells and are therefore more sensitive to radiation. Hendrick Medical Center has provided radiation therapy services since the mid 1950’s. Currently we use two linear accelerators, both manufactured by Varian Medical Systems. Each unit provides two X-ray energies for treating tumors within the body as well as five different electron energies for treating tumors on and slightly below the skin.

We use a General Electric CT unit to image the portion of the patient’s body where the treatments will be performed. The images from the CT unit are transferred by network to the Eclipse 3D treatment planning computer, also produced by Varian. Diagnostic images (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Computed Tomography, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, and/or Radiography) are then used with the CT images to plan the patient’s treatments in three dimensions to provide the most appropriate means of treating each patient’s tumor and minimizing side effects to the patient.

We provide 3-D and IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) external beam treatments. Since we have two treatment units, we are able to accommodate patients’ personal schedules better than a site with only one unit.

We are the only facility in Abilene that provides low dose rate iodine seed implants for prostate patients and low dose rate cesium implants for female patients. We have board certified radiation oncologists, a radiation oncology nurse, a radiation physicist, medical dosimetrists, therapists and secretary/receptionists to work with each patient during his/her treatments.