The Radiation Oncology Department serves both inpatients and outpatients by providing consultation, treatment planning, external-beam radiation, brachytherapy, follow-up care, supportive services and referrals to appropriate medical, supportive and community services. Patients are seen by appointment at the request of or by referral from their attending or managing physician.
Personnel in the Radiation Oncology Department include the radiation oncologist, physicists, therapists, registered nurses and secretarial staff. The radiation oncologist serves as the medical director of the department and is a member of the Cancer Committee. The manager of outpatient oncology acts as the administrative director for the department. The main types of radiation therapy include:
- External Beam Treatment
- 3-D Conformal External Beam Therapy: With this technique, the radiation therapy team creates a three-dimensional reconstruction of both the target structure and any critical normal structures.
- HDR Iridium: This temporary implant delivers higher doses of radiation to the cancer. It has the advantages of permanent seed implantation, but the radioactive material does not stay in the patient. This treatment is performed twice over a two-day period and is used in conjunction with conformal radiation treatments.
- Mammosite: A new therapy called the MammoSite? Radiation Therapy System, now available at Mountainside Hospital, promises to deliver targeted, effective therapy in less time than traditional radiation therapy with fewer side effects and less damage to healthy tissue. MammoSite works by delivering a precisely targeted dose of radiation directly to the tissue surrounding the original tumor via a balloon catheter that is inserted surgically into the area after the tumor has been removed. The prescribed dose of radiation is administered internally, thereby minimizing exposure to the rest of the breast, skin, ribs, lungs and heart. Best of all, the treatment usually only takes five days, can be done on an outpatient basis, and requires only a small incision on the side of the breast.
The department is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.