If you need radiation therapy, you are in the hands of experts. We are among the few programs in the L.A. area with expertise in radiation therapy for head and neck cancer. You have access to the latest radiation therapy technologies for more precise care. Our capabilities help more people receive successful treatments that preserve their ability to eat and speak after recovery.
What is Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy delivers focused energy to destroy cancer cells while preserving surrounding normal tissue. Doctors called radiation oncologists deliver this treatment. The head and neck are among the most challenging places to deliver radiation therapy. Tumors are often near important nerves, tissues and glands.
Radiation oncologists at Cedars-Sinai use sophisticated technologies to deliver therapies to precisely the right spot. This care lowers the risk of complications that could affect your ability to swallow or taste food.
Our Approach to Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer
You receive care from radiation oncologists who are experts in the field of head and neck radiation therapy. This level of expertise is not widely available in the L.A. area. Our expert works alongside a team of other doctors and specialists to help you receive the best possible care. Get more information about our head and neck cancer tumor board.
Our approach includes:
Studies show that patients receiving care in high-volume centers such as Cedars-Sinai achieve better results. We deliver radiation therapy to a high volume of patients per year. This level of experience leads to successful treatments, even for difficult-to-reach tumors.
We use the latest imaging technologies to learn more about the size and location of the tumor. This information allows us to determine which technique is best for you and deliver the correct dose of radiation. Find out more about head and neck cancer imaging studies.
You have access to the best available radiation therapy technologies, including the Varian TrueBeam® Radiotherapy System. We also offer innovative options, such as proton therapy. This form of radiation therapy allows us to treat complicated tumors with precise doses of radiation. We are the first program in the L.A. area to offer this option.
Radiation therapy can increase your risk of dental problems and make dental work challenging. We lower this risk with specialized dental care before and after treatment. You may also receive therapy that helps you regain your ability to swallow. Find out more about speech therapy and dental care for head and neck cancer.
Our Radiation Therapy Team
You receive care from a team of radiation therapy specialists. We meet regularly to coordinate your care. We have been working together for years, leading to efficiencies that help you get the most out of each treatment.
Our team includes:
- Radiation oncologists who develop personalized care plans
- Dosimetrists who use sophisticated radiation planning software to develop an optimized radiation treatment plan that can be delivered by the radiation treatment machine. This plan matches the design, specification and prescription from the radiation oncologist as closely as possible.
- Physicists who are responsible for the technologies we use to deliver treatments
- Radiation therapists who help get you into position before treatment and make sure you're comfortable
- Nurses who explain how to take care of yourself after radiation therapy and avoid complications
Types of Radiation Therapy We Offer
Your care may include:
- Brachytherapy: We are one of the few programs in the L.A. area offering this type of treatment. A doctor specializing in brachytherapy implants tiny radioactive seeds near the tumor during a procedure. Brachytherapy is used for cancers that recur as well as larger tumors. Learn more about high dose rate brachytherapy.
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): This treatment uses special technology to deliver radiation beams that match the size and shape of the tumor. We deliver treatment using multiple bursts of radiation at different intensities for a precise match. Read more about intensity modulated radiation therapy.
- Radioactive iodine: You take pills containing radioactive substances that break up cancer cells. The pills also contain iodine that delivers radiation to your thyroid without harming nearby healthy tissue. This treatment destroys traces of cancer that remain after a thyroidectomy.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery: We use tiny beams of energy to deliver high doses of radiation. Real-time imaging technology ensures a high degree of accuracy. Find out more about stereotactic radiosurgery.