Radiation Oncology at St. Mary Mercy Hospital offers a full spectrum of radiation services, including consultation, complete three-dimensional treatment planning and follow-up in the continuing care of cancer patients. State-of-the-art equipment coupled with a caring, compassionate staff provides a comprehensive approach to radiation treatment procedures. Our radiation oncologists coordinate treatments with surgeons and medical oncologists as part of a multi-specialty team approach, supported by social workers, dietitians, specialized nursing staff, radiation therapists and others to assist cancer patients with their special needs.
For more information, call 734-655-2006.
We offer external beam radiation therapy, which is delivered by a linear accelerator, sometimes called a "linac." During external beam radiation therapy, a beam of radiation is directed through the skin to a tumor, and the immediate surrounding area, to destroy the main tumor and any nearby cancer cells. It produces a beam of high-energy X-rays or electrons, using sophisticated treatment planning software. A personalized treatment plan effectively treats the tumor while sparing the normal tissue surrounding the cancer cells. There are several types of radiation therapy offered:
Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT)
This procedure uses sophisticated computers and CT scans and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to create detailed, three-dimensional representations of the tumor and surrounding organs. The radiation beams are shaped exactly to the size of the tumor and precisely directed so normal tissue receives less radiation exposure.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
This specialized form of 3D-CRT allows radiation to be more exactly shaped to fit the tumor. With IMRT, the radiation beam can be broken up into many "beamlets," and the intensity of each beamlet can be adjusted individually. Using IMRT may further limit the amount of radiation received by normal tissues, and in some situations, may also allow a higher dose of radiation to be delivered to the tumor, increasing the chance of a cure.
St. Mary Mercy Hospital patients also have access to a revolutionary radiation treatment option offered through an affiliation with St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, the first and only hospital in Michigan to provide CyberKnife Radiosurgery technology. This very precise radiation treatment can pinpoint and destroy difficult-to-reach tumors deep inside the body. Using what is referred to as intelligent robotics, CyberKnife extends the benefits of radiosurgery to the treatment of tumors anywhere in the body.
Brachytherapy is a technique to implant radioactive seeds directly into organs with cancer that will not be removed by surgery. In prostate brachytherapy, the procedure minimizes the chance of affecting nearby tissue, while still delivering radiation to the prostate to destroy cancer cells. St. Mary Mercy Hospital is one of the premier prostate brachytherapy centers in the country.