Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is a type of external beam radiation
that is very precise. It allows your doctor to focus radiation where it needs to go without hurting healthy tissues around the cancer. In this way, it is able to reduce side effects
How It Works
Tumors move, and if radiation beams aren’t on-target, they can be less effective and harm healthy tissue. IGRT combines imaging and treatment in a single machine. This allows your doctor to track the tumors as they move so he can make tiny adjustments to where the radiation should be focused.
This accuracy allows your doctor to use higher doses of radiation to control or kill the cancer, without causing unnecessary side effects
. With IGRT, the full dose of radiation can be delivered in one session or over several sessions, depending on your treatment needs. You can usually return home right after your treatment.
Generally, patients experience few or no side effects from radiation therapy. Fatigue is the most common side effect reported, and it is usually not severe. Most patients can often continue most of their normal daily activities with a reduced schedule and many continue to work during radiation therapy.
If you experience side effects, they usually begin around the second or third week of treatment, and may last for several weeks after your last treatment. Rarely, serious side effects can develop after radiation therapy is finished. Talk with your radiation oncology team about any side effects you’re having so they can help you manage them.