Patient talking with an oncologist at an Ascension site of care.

Radiation oncology in Baltimore

Radiation oncologists at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital Cancer Institute in Baltimore, MD, deliver radiosurgery and radiation therapy with precision.

Radiation therapy care teams at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital Cancer Institute provide compassionate, personalized care for the whole person. Cancer is personal, so is how we care for you. Your doctor and care team start by listening to understand you and your health concerns. Then, we’ll work together with you to create a care plan that’s right for you and targets your cancer. Your radiation oncology team may include radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, nurses and support staff.

Radiation oncology delivered with precision

Your doctor and care team explain how radiation therapy may be the primary treatment or provided in combination with other medical oncology and surgical treatments. We deliver radiation therapy with precision. That means at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital Cancer Institute, we use advanced technology with image-guidance systems to  help mark, track and destroy the cancer cells.

Your care plan may include one or more sessions to help:

  • Deliver precise doses of radiation to breakdown the cancer cells
  • Control the growth and spread of cancer
  • Relieve symptoms, such as pain

The radiation oncology department at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital and Cancer Institute is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR). So, your care team is led by experienced radiation oncologists and radiation therapists.

Benefits of radiation treatments for cancer

Radiation therapy is personalized for the type and stage of cancer you have. During your appointments, your care team focuses on your physical and emotional health to help make you as comfortable as possible. And between therapy sessions, we’re here to answer your questions and help you manage side effects.

Other benefits of radiation oncology may include:

  • Ability to continue medication therapy at the same time
  • Outpatient treatments — each session typically takes less than an hour
  • Ultra-focused radiation exposure to the cancer cells, not surrounding healthy tissue

Cancer support programs and services

When you’re going through cancer care, we’re by your side. Your doctors and care team are here to help, listen and offer services that help support your treatment plan. Have a conversation with our patient consult coordinator — ask any question, big or small. And we offer an extended care team for emotional support — chaplain, palliative care specialist and oncology-certified social worker. Our healing garden and chapel are always open for you and your loved ones. Other services include:

  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Financial aid counselors
  • Nutritionists
  • Oncology-trained pharmacists
  • Patient and caregiver support groups

Advanced radiation cancer care

We offer many types of advanced radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments using innovative systems from planning to treatment. Doctors use the latest technology to measure the volume of a tumor and adjust the dose of radiation therapy with each breathing cycle. This approach helps us deliver a precise dose of radiation to cancer cells while avoiding exposure to healthy tissue. At the Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital Cancer Institute, we provide many types of radiation therapy, including:

Brachytherapy, a type of internal radiation therapy that allows cancer cells to be treated through direct contact. Treatment devices are temporarily inserted near or on the target tissue or organ, such as the breast, vagina, uterus, prostate or skin. For example, high-dose-rate brachytherapy for skin cancer is delivered using an individually molded flap and catheter system placed directly on the tumor.

External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), which helps your doctor pinpoint a tumor and adjust for any movement seen during breathing or treatment.

Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT), also called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) or stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR), which is a type of photon external beam radiation that delivers a high dose of ionizing radiation to a well-defined tumor in the brain or body. This type of radiation therapy is delivered in one to five treatments, depending on the type of tumor and its location. And it is designed to help protect surrounding healthy tissue from radiation exposure.

TomoTherapy®, which is photon radiation therapy delivered by a special linear accelerator that can rotate 360 degrees around your body. Using the latest technology, radiation oncologists deliver a precise dose of radiation. TomoTherapy expands our treatment options for brain and other cancers in high-risk areas.

Radiation oncology in combination with chemotherapy and surgery

Your cancer care team at Ascension Saint Agnes works together to help improve the effectiveness of radiation, chemotherapy and surgical treatments.

Radiosensitizers are drugs that help make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation. Combining radiation with radiosensitizers can help target more cancer cells.

Radioprotectors are medications that help protect healthy tissue from the effects of radiation.

Intraoperative radiation therapy is when radiation therapy is given during surgery. This approach may be helpful when vital organs are too close to the tumor. During your procedure, your surgeon shields an organ by moving it out of the way so radiation can be applied directly to the tumor. This allows your radiation oncologist to avoid exposing those organs to radiation. Intraoperative radiation can be given as external beam therapy or as brachytherapy.

Multispecialty cancer care teams and clinical trials

At Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital Cancer Institute, you have an entire team dedicated to your care. Radiation oncologists meet with medical oncologists, surgeons, cancer specialists, and oncology nurses regularly. We work together to review your care plan and monitor your progress. With these meetings, we work to help make sure your care plan is working well for you. Our multispecialty approach offers advanced cancer care close to home. If you are interested in participating in cancer care clinical trials, talk with your oncologist to discuss your options. If a clinical trial is right for you, we can help connect you to a cancer research coordinator.

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