There are two main types of radiation therapy: external-beam radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy. Your radiation oncologist will talk with you about the type that is best for your situation and the reasons why.
External-Beam Radiation Therapy
External-beam radiation therapy refers to treatments in which the radiation is generated from a source outside your body, and the beams are then pointed precisely at your tumor. This is the most common type of radiation therapy for cancer.
External-beam radiation therapy includes:
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (including Gamma Knife radiosurgery)
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy
- Intraoperative radiation therapy
- Total body irradiation
- Electron therapy
- Proton therapy
- Neutron therapy
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) offers all of these. Read more about each form of external-beam radiation therapy.
Internal Radiation Therapy
Internal radiation therapy refers to treatments in which a radioactive substance is placed inside your body so it can release radiation from within. Often the substance is a small implant. It could also be a pill that you take by mouth or a fluid that you get intravenously.
Internal radiation therapy includes:
- Systemic radiation therapy
SCCA offers both of these. Read more about each form of internal radiation therapy.