What Is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is the precise use of high-energy rays to treat cancer. It is highly effective in destroying the cancer cell’s ability to reproduce, allowing the body to naturally rid itself of these dead or damaged cells.

At Radiotherapy Centers of Kentuckiana, patients receive doses of external beam radiation delivered by machines from outside the body. We use the most advanced equipment and therapies available, allowing for ultra-accurate delivery of larger radiation doses resulting in minimal damage to surrounding organs and tissues.

Benefits of Radiation Therapy

Our advanced technology allows us to seamlessly integrate sophisticated imaging and radiation delivery treatments, offering patients a personalized treatment plan based on their individual needs.


We work to accommodate your schedule so you can continue with your daily activities. Our offices are conveniently located in Louisville and Jeffersonville.

Targeted precision

Our advanced technology allows us to target tumors precisely, delivering efficient and accurate treatment while protecting vital organs and surrounding tissue, thereby reducing the number of side effects.

Comfort and care

A respiratory monitoring system allows patients to breathe naturally and comfortably during treatment while ensuring accurate targeting of tumors. Through a two-way communication system, a clinician can stay in constant contact with the patient for the entirety of their treatment.

Customized treatment

Our physician will customize a personalized treatment plan for each patient. We provide a range of treatment options for various types of cancer.

Treatment Methods

These breakthrough technologies permit our radiation oncology team to treat more challenging types of cancer and develop individualized treatment plans for patients.

Before treatment begins, we use CT simulation to develop a 3-D model of your tumor and the area of your body in which it is located. This gives us an extremely accurate picture of your tumor so you get the best outcomes from radiation therapy. Learn more about CT simulation.

All of our external beam radiotherapy treatments are done using a linear accelerator. This is a device that delivers a beam of high-energy X-rays or electrons. The beam is directed and shaped to maximize damage to the tumor while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues. Other advantages of using a linear accelerator (sometimes known as a LINAC) include its suitability for tumors in areas where vital organs are sensitive to radiation and the ability to make adjustments to the beam to suit the size and shape of the tumor. Radiotherapy with a linear accelerator also reduces the time needed for a radiation therapy regimen.

Types of radiation therapy we offer

At Radiotherapy Centers of Kentuckiana, we offer three types of external beam radiation therapy (3D-CRT, IMRT, and SBRT) supported by precision imaging technology (IGRT). We also provide radiopharmaceutical therapy with Xofigo (radium 223) and Pluvicto (lutetium 177).

  • 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) uses computers and detailed CT and/or MRI scans to get a very accurate image of the tumor. The treatment team then shapes the radiation beam to match the size and shape of the tumor. Learn more about 3D conformal radiation therapy.
  • Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is a form of radiation therapy that, unlike many radiotherapy treatments, uses multiple smaller beams. This allows your treatment team to administer a higher dose of radiation to the tumor itself while minimizing harm to nearby tissues. Learn more about IMRT.
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), or stereotactic body radiotherapy, uses a higher dose of radiation than other forms of radiotherapy, resulting in a much shorter course of treatment than other modalities. Rather than taking several weeks, stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment is given in one to five sessions. Learn more about stereotactic body radiation therapy.
  • Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) uses medical imaging such as CT scans to locate and treat tumors in combination with either 3D-CRT or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). With IGRT, your treatment team will take images of your tumor each day of your treatment to ensure precision and effectiveness. Learn more about IGRT.
  • Radiopharmaceutical therapy targets cancer cells with a radioactive drug that is either injected, given orally, or placed in a body cavity. These radiopharmaceuticals generally consist of a radioactive atom and molecules that seek out cancer cells. Learn more about radiopharmaceutical therapy.

What to Expect with Radiation Therapy

Cancers We Treat

Our physicians treat a wide variety of cancers. You can view the full list here, or you can click below to learn about the cancers we most commonly treat.


Radiation is often the treatment of choice for prostate cancer. It is used as the first line treatment for cancer that is low-grade and still confined to the prostate. It’s used as part of the first treatment for cancers that have grown outside the prostate gland and into nearby tissues. It is also used in cases of recurrent prostate cancer, and to help prevent or relieve symptoms in advanced cases. We offer intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for recurrence in selected patients, and radiopharmaceutical treatments including radium 223 and Pluvicto (lutetium 177).

Learn more about prostate cancer


Some people with breast cancer will need radiation in addition to other treatments.  Radiation therapy can be used after breast-conserving surgery to help lower the chance the cancer will come back in the same breast or nearby lymph nodes. It can also be used after a mastectomy, especially if the cancer was larger than about 2 inches, if cancer is found in many lymph nodes, or if certain surgical margins have cancer cells. It is also used when breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body such as the bones, spinal cord, or brain.

Learn more about breast cancer


In select cases, stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for lung cancer can provide great benefits to patients with both small cell and non-small cell tumors that have not spread throughout the lung. It’s also useful when lung cancers have metastasized (spread) to other areas of the body like the chest cavity, brain, or other organs. It is used in non-small cell lung cancer before surgery to shrink the tumor, if the patient isn’t healthy enough for surgery, if the tumor has spread too far to be treated with surgery, and after surgery to kill any tumor cells that might still be in the body. For patients with small cell lung cancer, it’s used to treat the tumor and lymph nodes in the chest, for people who can’t tolerate chemoradiation, or it may be given prophylactically (as prevention) to help minimize the risk of the cancer spreading to the brain.

Learn more about lung cancer


According to the American Cancer Society, radiation therapy for bladder cancer is used after surgery that does not remove the whole bladder (such as TURBT). It’s also used as the main treatment for people with early-stage cancers who can’t have surgery or chemotherapy to try to avoid cystectomy (surgery to remove the bladder), as part of treatment for advanced bladder cancer, and to help prevent or treat symptoms caused by advanced bladder cancer.

Learn more about bladder cancer


Cancer can affect a lot of areas of the head and neck including the nose, mouth, tongue, salivary glands, throat, and larynx (voice box). It’s critical that these patients use a radiation oncology provider who is experienced in head and neck cancer medical procedures. Radiation is used in several ways to treat head and neck cancers. First, it may be used alone, for small cancers or people who can’t have surgery. It can be used before or after surgery, along with chemotherapy (chemoradiation), to kill any remaining cancer cells or shrink the size of large tumors, as well as for treating recurrences and ease symptoms.

Learn more about head and neck cancers


There are several types of skin cancer, the most common of which are basal and squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Radiation treatment for skin cancer can be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells, to treat recurring or metastasized melanoma, or to provide palliative care. In the treatment of skin cancers, radiation can be combined with other treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery.

Learn more about skin cancer


Other types of cancer we treat include:

  • Brain Cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Colon & Rectal Cancers
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Gynecologic Cancers
  • Sarcoma
  • Hypopharyngeal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer
  • Laryngeal Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Liver Cancer

Schedule Your Appointment Today

If you are referred for radiation therapy during your cancer care, you get to choose where to receive treatment. We are here to support and encourage you—call us today to schedule your first appointment with one of our radiation oncologists at the cancer center nearest to you.