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What to expect

If this is your first experience with radiation therapy, you probably have many questions. At Minneapolis Radiation Oncology, you can count on your care team to be there for you every step of the way, guiding you through the treatment process and answering your questions.

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What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is MRO’s clinical specialty that uses high-energy radiation to treat many types of cancer. At least half of all people with cancer are treated with radiation, and the number of patients who have been cured is rising every day. Radiation can be administered externally or internally and is prescribed the same way any kind of medicine is. At your initial consultation, your radiation oncologist will determine the overall dose and treatment plan that’s right for you.

Ask for a referral

MRO is the Twin Cities’ leading provider of radiation treatment for cancer. With 11 convenient locations in the Twin Cities, Western Wisconsin, and the Brainerd Lakes Area, we make it easy to get the treatment you need, and get back to your life sooner.

First visit

Once you’ve been referred to MRO by your oncologist, your first step is to make an appointment for a consultation. During this visit, you’ll meet with a radiation oncology specialist who will determine if radiation therapy is right for you, and describe your specific treatment process. You may also go through a simulation, where you’ll be positioned as you would be for a treatment, and precise measurements will be taken to pinpoint the exact location to target on your body.

Care team

At Minneapolis Radiation Oncology, you’ll have a team of specialists from various disciplines who are focused on your unique needs, and will work together to plan and deliver custom-designed treatments. Care teams are led by a radiation oncologist, who is a specialist in using radiation to treat cancer. Other key members include a radiation therapist, physicist, dosimetrist, and nurse. Each plays an important role in the treatment process.

Treating Your Cancer

MRO uses advanced, precision technology to provide external radiation (including stereotactic radiotherapy) and internal radiation (brachytherapy). Most people who receive radiation for cancer require the external type. In this therapy, a machine directs high-energy X-rays or particles at known sites of cancer. Treatments are given during outpatient visits at one of our centers.

Side effects

Not all patients experience side effects from radiation therapy. Your radiation oncologist will carefully go over what side effects you might expect, how long they could last, how serious they might be, and how best to relieve symptoms. Your treatment dose, which part of your body is being treated, and your general health can affect how your body reacts to radiation therapy.

Life beyond treatment

Once your course of radiation therapy is completed, your radiation oncologist may want to re-examine you to check the results of your treatment. The doctor who referred you for radiation therapy will also schedule follow-up visits as needed. Follow-up care may include more cancer treatment, rehabilitation and counseling. Minneapolis Radiation Oncology will continue to be there for you, helping you adapt to your life after treatment.