Radiation Oncology

The University of Arizona Cancer Center patients receive the most up-to-date cancer treatment from caring staff in the University Medical Center's Radiation Oncology Department. Closely associated with The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Radiation Oncology offers the most current and effective cancer therapies available.

For more information, visit Radiation Oncology.

In order to save you time on your visit and help us to stay on time for your appointment, please take a few moments to complete our Health History Questionnaire and bring it with you to your appointment.

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation is a high-energy beam of x-rays focused on a specific area to destroy abnormal cells, with every effort made to preserve normal tissue. It is sometimes combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy to achieve the best results. Radiation therapy is also used to reduce pressure, control bleeding and as palliative treatment for cancer pain.

Some of the radiation services we provide are

  • External Beam Therapy
    • Photon Therapy
    • Electron Therapy
    • Conformal (3D) Radiotherapy
    • IMRT (Intensity Modulation Radiation Therapy)
  • Brachytherapy
    • HDR (High Dose Rate)
    • LDR (Low Dose Rate)
    • Tandem and Ovoid
    • Prostate Seed Implant
    • Eye Plaque for Melanoma
    • Contura
    • Mammosite
  • Total Body Irradiation
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery
  • New treatment for skin cancer: Axxent® Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx™) by Xoft, Inc.

What to expect

If your physician recommends radiation, you can attend "Radiation Therapy 101," an hour-long class that offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create your custom radiation treatment plan.

Prior to commencement of radiation therapy, you will be asked to undergo a CT scan or MRI. These images are not used for diagnostic purposes; instead a team of medical dosimetrists, physicists and radiation oncologists use these images to develop a treatment plan. With the help of a computer, the team performs careful measurements and calculations to determine radiation dosage. Depending on tumor location, a radiation therapy planning session could take anywhere from a few days up to two weeks. This is due to the accuracy required in order to prevent vital organs from receiving unnecessary radiation, and to salvage as much surrounding normal tissue as possible.

External beam radiotherapy uses an external machine to navigate radiation toward the cancer site. Hyperfractionated radiotherapy is one type of radiation therapy in which daily doses of radiation may be given a few hours apart. Internal radiation, or brachytherapy, is administered internally to the site by use of a sealed instrument, such as a wire, needle, seed or catheter.


The Department of Radiation Oncology utilizes the Novalis BrainLab system to treat brain tumors using stereotactic radiosurgery and is currently the only oncology clinic to offer this treatment option in southern Arizona. Along with cutting-edge technology, the Department of Radiation Oncology is dedicated to research, and offers a variety of clinical trials.

Novalis BrainLab. Photo Source: BrainLab.com

More information:

For more information about the types of radiation services we provide, please visit the Department of Radiation Oncology.

Learn more about what to expect at your appointment by reading the Patient Walk Through.

Clinical trials are available in the Department of Radiation Oncology at The University of Arizona Cancer Center, as an adjunct to standard treatment. For more information, please see Department of Radiation Oncology Clinical Trials.

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