Radiation Therapy in 5 Sessions or Less
Complete your cancer treatment in 5 sessions or less
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast, prostate or lung cancer and radiation therapy is part of your treatment, you should know about important technology advance that can dramatically reduce your treatment time to just 5 days or less—with results that are as good or better than conventional radiation therapy that takes a lot longer.
Called accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy (or precision stereotactic body radiation therapy), this breakthrough advanced treatment safely delivers higher doses of radiation during each treatment session. As a result, you can complete treatment in 5 or fewer daily sessions—compared to 25 to 45 sessions over 5 to 9 weeks with conventional radiation therapy.
This highly precise, sophisticated technology is now available at the Nuvance Cancer Institute at Norwalk Hospital—giving you close-to-home access to today’s most advanced and effective therapies.
When you undergo conventional radiation therapy for breast, prostate or lung cancer, your total radiation dose is divided into multiple small doses, called fractions, which generally are given once a day, 5 days a week, for 5 to 9 weeks.
In 2018, we introduced the first generation of hypofractionated radiation therapy Because this technology more precisely focused the radiation beam, we could better target the tumor while sparing nearby healthy tissue. As a result, we could substantially and safely reduce the number of treatment sessions and decrease overall treatment time by weeks.
Now, with further technology advances, we can focus the radiation beam with even greater precision. So we can further decrease the number of treatment sessions in many cases to 5 or fewer.
The notable benefits of this short-course approach to radiation therapy include:
- It’s safe and effective—Research shows that accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy delivers outcomes that are just as good—or better—than conventional radiation therapy
- It’s more convenient—Because you can complete a full course of treatment in just 5 treatment sessions, you can take less time off from work, recover faster, and get back to your regular life sooner
- There are fewer side effects—For example, men with prostate cancer experience a much lower risk of urinary incontinence and impotence compared with surgery
A growing number of patients with breast, prostate and lung cancer are being treated with accelerated hypofractionated radiation therapy. In fact, it’s now considered a standard of care for treating appropriately selected patients with these types of cancer.
If you have breast, prostate or lung cancer and radiation therapy is part of your treatment, you will be carefully evaluated by our radiation oncology team to determine if this treatment approach is right for you.
Widmark A, Gunnlaugsson A, Beckman L, et al. Ultra-hypofractionated versus conventionally fractionated radiotherapy for prostate cancer: 5-year outcomes of the HYPO-RT-PC randomised, non-inferiority, phase 3 trial [e-pub ahead of print]. Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)31131-6, Accessed July 1, 2019.
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