Radiation Therapy in Cancer Treatment - PIH Health

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Radiation Therapy in Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy is a highly effective treatment for many types of cancer. It uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. If radiation is part of your treatment plan, you don’t have to go far to get the best care. You can trust the skilled radiation oncology team at PIH Health to fight your cancer using the most advanced and effective radiation technology available.

Advanced Radiation Center

The PIH Health Ruby L. Golleher Oncology Center is one of only a few programs in California accredited by the American College of Radiology. This designation means we follow strict national guidelines and are dedicated to providing safe, effective care for our patients.

Advanced Radiation Therapy in Cancer Treatment

The Radiation Oncology Center is equipped to treat all types of cancers that require radiation therapy, including bladder, brain, breast, colorectal, esophagus, gynecologic, head and neck, kidney, lung, lymphoma, myeloma, prostate, sarcoma, skin and stomach cancers.

There are two general types of radiation therapy—external beam and internal. We offer both types.

External Beam Radiation Therapy

This advanced treatment method uses highly detailed imaging to precisely define tumors and focus radiation beams on them.

  • Image guided radiation therapy (IGRT) uses 3-D computer images to target cancer.
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) uses small, “bendable” beams of radiation to target tumors while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Only a handful of medical centers within the Los Angeles community offer this advanced technology.
  • Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy uses a 3-D planning system to target a strong dose of radiation into the body at the site of the cancer cells. This helps protect healthy tissue.
  • Stereotactic Radiation Therapy and Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) use special equipment to position the patient precisely for radiation to a tumor.

Internal Radiation Therapy (Brachytherapy)

With this type of treatment, radioactive materials are placed directly in the body at the site of the tumor for concentrated exposure.

  • High-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR) is a radiation method that targets a high dose of radiation to an exact tumor site within the body over a short period. X-rays, ultrasound or CT scans are used to place the radioactive material precisely.
  • Accelerated partial breast radiation therapy (APBI) can be used to treat early-stage breast cancer. This therapy works by placing radioactive material inside the space left after the tumor is surgically removed. This focuses the radiation directly to the surrounding tissue where further cancer is most likely to recur.
  • Prostate brachytherapy uses small radiation “seeds” about the size of a grain of rice that are permanently implanted in the prostate. Because the seeds are inserted or implanted directly into, or very close to, the tumor, they deliver high doses of radiation to the tumor without affecting the normal healthy tissues around it. This treatment has proven effective for early, localized prostate cancer.

Other Radiation Therapies


Radioactive iodine, in liquid form, is used to treat thyroid cancer.

Xofigo (Radium 233)

Radioactive infusion therapy is indicated for the treatment of patients with castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) that has spread to the bones.

radiation therapy in cancer treatment, advanced radiation center, radium 233

Radiation Technology

At PIH Health, you benefit from a wide range of advanced technologies for external beam and internal radiation therapies, including:

  • Elekta Synergy® and Synergy S® linear accelerators for targeted radiation therapy
  • Stereotactic Radiation Therapy (SRS)
  • High-dose-rate Varian GammaMed Afterloader for internal radiation accuracy
  • Toshiba© large-bore CT simulator for accurate treatment planning
  • Ultrasound for precise placement of treatment tools
  • Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) for breast cancer radiation

Additional Services

  • Psychosocial assessment – Our social workers meet with every patient at least once during radiation therapy to evaluate individual needs and help with supportive care. Working closely with the radiation oncologist and nurse, your social worker makes sure all your needs are addressed.
  • Transportation services – If you need help with transportation and live within 10 miles of the Cancer Center, PIH Health can help. Ask about transportation assistance during your visit to the Cancer Center.

Patient Forms

Please complete the Global Health Questionnaire prior to an appointment with any of the following specialists in our cancer care program: surgery, plastic surgery, medical oncology and radiation therapy.

Contact Us

Contact PIH Health Radiation Oncology at 562.696.5964 for more information about our radiation services or to schedule an appointment.

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