Alaska Cancer Treatment Center

Radiation Oncology

One of the most effective and time-tested treatments for cancer is radiation therapy. Radiation treatments can be used to shrink a tumor, stop the growth of cancer cells, prevent cancer from spreading and reduce symptoms. 50 to 60% of all patients diagnosed with cancer receive some form of radiation treatment.

Radiation therapy is generally used for cancer in the lung, breast, abdomen, blood, head and neck, and in the urinary system, such as the prostate, kidney and bladder.

One of our most effective treatments is an innovative new technology from Varian Medical Systems called the TrueBeam system, a noninvasive method that is able to target cancerous cells with pinpoint accuracy, resulting in little or no damage to surrounding healthy cells. This accuracy results in shorter treatment and a more comfortable patient experience.

Before implementing radiation therapy, an Institute oncologist runs a simulation to develop the patient’s treatment plan. This includes preparing immobilization devices, marking reference points on the skin, obtaining a special CT scan and setting the treatment start date. Radiation therapists administer the radiation treatments, which are usually given five days a week for five to nine weeks, depending on the patient’s specific treatment plan. Although setup for the first treatment takes longer, subsequent daily radiation treatments usually take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Patients undergoing radiation treatment visit with our experienced staff on a weekly basis to monitor their overall progress.