Radiation therapy uses very precise high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. Radiation oncologists are cancer doctors with special training in using radiation to treat cancer.
MSK’s radiation therapy experts use the latest methods to deliver radiation just to the tumor while keeping nearby healthy tissue safe. The radiation goes to the tumors in and around your stomach.
During and after your therapy, our radiation specialists monitor how you’re doing using the latest imaging methods.
We often offer radiation therapy after stomach cancer surgery. This kills any cancer cells that remain.
When do you have radiation therapy for stomach cancer?
Your treatment team may recommend radiation therapy by itself or along with chemotherapy.
We also offer radiation therapy if surgery is not right for you. Radiation therapy can make you more comfortable by helping reduce your symptoms.
MSK may recommend joining a clinical trial that is studying a new combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Types of radiation treatment for stomach cancer
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy
MSK uses an advanced technology called image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT). IGRT can treat tumors with even more accuracy than regular radiation therapy. With IGRT we take many 3D images of the tumor during treatment. This method lets us mold high-dose radiation beams to the shape of a tumor. We aim at the tumor and keep nearby tissue safe.
Respiratory gating is a method that delivers radiation only during certain points in your breathing cycle. This method lets us account for how your abdomen (belly) moves when you breathe.
MSK radiation doctors are experts in respiratory gating and tracking the movement of nearby organs. For example, air in your bowel or stomach can affect the position of many organs.
A CT scan makes 3D images of areas inside your body. The images show bone, organs, muscles, tumors, and other soft tissue. CT scans are sometimes called CAT scans.
Your doctor will look at your CT scan for temporary motion or a shift that needs a change in your treatment plan. We use real-time CT scans during your treatment to find the best tumor position before we use radiation.
Keeping you as safe as possible during radiation therapy is as important to us as treating cancer.
A clinical physicist (FIH-zih-sist), also called a medical physicist, helps make and use radiation treatments and technology. They will be there during your radiation procedures to confirm the correct dose is delivered just to the tumor. They use imaging technology to monitor your progress during and after radiation treatment.