printemailclick to share buttonfacebooktwitterlinkedin
Radiation Treatment

Portable innovation
A portable radiation unit brings treatment closer to home for Simcoe Muskoka cancer patients. Learn more.

Radiation therapy is the use of a certain type of energy (radiation) from X-rays, gamma rays and electrons to destroy cancer cells. In high doses, radiation destroys cells in the area being treated. It does this by damaging the DNA in cancer cell genes, making it impossible for them to grow and divide. During radiation therapy, both cancer cells (which are growing in an uncontrolled way) and healthy cells are affected, but most healthy cells can repair themselves.

There are two major types of radiation treatments:

External beam radiation therapy:

In external beam radiation therapy, radiation is directed at the cancer and surrounding tissue from a machine outside the body. This type of treatment is used to treat most cancers.


In brachytherapy, sealed radioactive sources are placed inside the body, in or near the cancer. A sealed radioactive source is often called an implant. Brachytherapy makes it possible to treat the cancer with a high total dose of radiation in a concentrated area in a short period of time.

Cancer Care Ontario's Radiation Treatment Program sets provincial standards and guidelines for treatment and quality assurance, and supports and works with radiation experts and organizations to continually improve radiation therapy. This includes evaluating and advising on new technologies and techniques, setting standards and targets, and working to improve wait times. Cancer Care Ontario has been publicly reporting radiation wait times since 2004.

Last modified: Mon, Nov 23, 2009
cancer care ontario | action cancer ontario   620 University Avenue Toronto Ontario, Canada M5G 2L7   Phone: 416.971.9800 Fax: 416.971.6888

Please help improve the quality of our website by answering 10 brief questions in our online survey. Would you like to participate?