Beth Israsel Deaconess Hospital - Plymouth

          

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Treatment Options

Surgery

Cancer surgery — an operation to repair or remove part of your body to diagnose or treat cancer — remains the foundation of cancer treatment. Your doctor may use cancer surgery to achieve any number of goals, from diagnosing your cancer, to treating it, to relieving the symptoms it causes. Cancer surgery may be your only treatment, or it may be supplemented with other treatments, such as radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and biological therapy.

Medical Oncology/Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy describes the use of drugs to treat a disease. There are several ways that anticancer drugs may be administered to a patient. For example:

  • By mouth with pills, tablets, capsules and syrups
  • By injections or infusions into your bloodstream
  • By injections into your muscles

Whatever the form of anticancer medication, chemotherapy is usually no more painful to take than any other drug given in the same manner.

Medications are given by an oncology certified nurse. The dosage is carefully checked and recalculated following a four-person check system that includes your physician, a pharmacist and two oncology nurses.

Radiation Oncology

Our expanded, ACR-accredited Radiation Oncology Program offers patients several advanced treatment options, including:

  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
  • Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
  • 3-D Conformal Therapy

Our state-of-the-art technology is equipped with software that tracks the movement of tumors in real time during treatment, enabling them to target tumors and destroy cancer cells more precisely and with greater accuracy while preserving healthy tissue surrounding a tumor.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

SRS and SBRT are noninvasive methods of treating tumors in the brain (SRS) and throughout the body (SBRT) with very precise, high-dose radiation beams delivered in one to five outpatient procedures.

SRS and SBRT offer important cancer treatment options for patients with inoperable or surgically complex tumors, or those seeking an alternative to invasive surgery or traditional radiation therapy.

During treatment, patients lie comfortably while our advanced cancer treatment system targets their tumor and delivers numerous high-dose radiation beams directly to the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. SRS and SBRT do not require surgery or sedation, and patients typically experience minimal side effects due to the highly focused nature of treatment, which minimizes radiation exposure to normal tissue and organs.

SRS and SBRT give patients the benefit of shorter treatment with little to no recovery time. Patients are usually able to leave the once treatment is complete and resume their normal routines.

Areas treated with SRS and SBRT:

  • Brain
  • Lung
  • Liver
  • Adrenal gland
  • Spine

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

IMRT is a type of radiation treatment whereby the radiation beam is carefully sculpted around a patient's anatomy. Compared to conventional radiation therapy, IMRT provides more precise targeting of the tumor and greater sparing of surrounding normal organs. As a result, it allows for a safe increase in the radiation dose to the tumor, and at the same time, reduces side effects.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)

IGRT is a technique used to track the internal movement of a patient's anatomy by imaging the patient each day during treatment and making fine positioning adjustments.

The part of the body being treated is carefully lined up to the radiation beam. This is usually accomplished with lasers and markings on the outside of the body. In some instances, there can be a considerable amount of organ movement inside the patient's body and these can be followed and adjusted for accordingly, so that treatment accuracy and precision are enhanced.

3D Conformal Therapy

A complex set of instructions is given to a linear accelerator (radiation producing machine) designed to direct radiation to cancerous cells while simultaneously protecting healthy tissues and organs.

Treatment plans are developed using a CT scan which allows for 3-D visualization of a tumor and surrounding normal tissues. Physicians and physicists customize the shape of the radiation beams to the tumor's specific size and shape.

Clinical Trials

The purpose of clinical trials (or research studies) is to develop new and better treatment for cancer. As part of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, we participate in National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsored cancer clinical trials for multiple cancer types and stages, through an affiliate membership with Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG). Through this affiliation, BID-Plymouth is able to provide the community we serve access and enrollment to clinical trials for various disease sites, thus enabling treatment and care to be given closer to home.

What are clinical trials?

* Taken from NCI website
Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. They are the final step in a long process that begins with research in a lab. Most treatments we use today are the results of past clinical trials. Cancer clinical trials are designed to test new ways to:

  • Treat cancer
  • Find and diagnose cancer
  • Prevent cancer
  • Manage symptoms of cancer or side effects from its treatment

For more information about clinical trials and participation or to search for a clinical trial:

To learn more about clinical cancer trials available at BID-Plymouth please ask your cancer doctor or call our research nurse at 508-746-1088.

Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth
Cancer Services
275 Sandwich Street
Plymouth, MA 02360

Medical Oncology
(508) 830-2390

Radiation Oncology
(508) 830-2575

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