Radiation therapy is often used for treating rectal cancer, and it can be delivered in one of two ways. To destroy cancerous cells, a tumor may be targeted with high-energy beams produced by a machine located outside a patient’s body (external beam radiation therapy) or small radioactive pellets can be temporarily placed near a tumor site (brachytherapy). Many people from Clearwater, Florida, turn to Moffitt Cancer Center in nearby Tampa, where we offer both types of rectal cancer treatment. Serving patients from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, Moffitt’s team has extensive experience and highly refined expertise.
Radiation therapy can be a primary treatment for rectal cancer, or it may be used along with other treatment methods as part of a comprehensive plan. To determine the best approach for each patient, the radiation oncologists in Moffitt’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program (just a short drive east from Clearwater, FL) work closely with many other rectal cancer specialists, including surgeons, medical oncologists, physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists and supportive care providers.
Radiation therapy for rectal cancer may involve:
- Delivering radiation treatment at the same time as chemotherapy (chemoradiation), which can enhance the effectiveness of both therapies
- Administering radiation treatment prior to a surgical procedure in order to shrink a tumor and make it easier for a surgeon to remove
- Combining radiation treatment with supportive care options designed to alleviate symptoms caused by an inoperable tumor, such as pain or a bowel obstruction
When determining how and when radiation therapy would best be provided to a patient, Moffitt’s radiation oncologists also factor in the importance of minimizing radiation exposure to the healthy tissues surrounding a tumor. Using advanced simulation techniques and state-of-the-art radiation delivery equipment, our highly experienced radiation oncologists administer radiation therapy with pinpoint accuracy, resulting in fewer treatment sessions, improved outcomes and better quality of life for our patients.
To learn more about radiation treatment for rectal cancer, you can contact Moffitt Cancer Center by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form online. No referrals are required to meet with our expert radiation oncologists on our campus, which is located conveniently close to Clearwater, FL.