Skip to Content

Radiation Oncology

Cancer is a complex, challenging illness that is unique to each individual. We are committed to providing personalized quality care and the latest technology close to home.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to slow or stop a cancer tumor from growing. Modern technology lets doctors treat tumors precisely while sparing much of the healthy tissue around the tumor. Radiation therapy can cure cancer, keep it from spreading, slow cancer growth or ease symptoms.

Treatment Close to Home

We provide radiation oncology services at:

A Virtual Tour of Your Treatment

  • Step 1 – Consultation – A radiation oncologist and nurse will examine and talk with you. Your loved ones are welcome to stay with you.
  • Step 2 – Simulation – A CT simulator scans the area of cancer for designing a treatment plan.
  • Step 3 – Computerized treatment planning – Images from the scan are transferred to the treatment planning computer to determine your radiation dose.
  • Step 4 – Treatment verification – You will return for verification films to make sure your body’s position on the treatment machine is correct.
  • Step 5 – Schedule treatments – A scheduler will help set up your treatment times which are typically Monday through Friday, at the same time for two to nine weeks.
  • Step 6 – Radiation treatments –Your care will depend on your personal treatment plan based on the best practice guidelines for your diagnosis. The radiation oncologist will check you weekly.
  • Step 7 – Last day of treatment – The nurse and/or radiation oncologist will meet with you to go over discharge instructions, answer any questions and schedule a follow-up visit.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy, sometimes called radiotherapy or irradiation, is the use of various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and other diseases. Modern technology allows radiation oncologists to treat tumors more powerfully and precisely while sparing much of the healthy tissue around the tumor.


  • Is a special kind of energy carried by waves or particles.
  • Works by damaging the DNA within cancer cells and destroying the ability of the cancer cells to reproduce.
  • Can be delivered internally or externally.
  • Can come from special machines or from radioactive substances.

Depending on the type of cancer and its stage of development, radiation therapy can:

  • Cure cancer.
  • Keep the cancer from spreading.
  • Slow the cancer’s growth.
  • Kill cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body from the original tumor.
  • Relieve symptoms caused by the cancer.

Sometimes radiation therapy is the only treatment a patient needs, and other times it is only one part of a patient’s treatment. For example, prostate and early stage larynx cancers are often treated with radiation alone. But a woman with breast cancer may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

It is important for you to discuss the goal of your treatment with your radiation oncologist. 

Informational Video

RT Answers: What is Radiation Therapy

Is Radiation Therapy Safe?

Some patients have concerns about the safety of radiation therapy. Radiation has been successfully used to treat patients for more than a century. In that time, many advances have been made to ensure the safety and effectiveness.

Before you begin treatment, your radiation oncology team will carefully tailor the treatment plan to assure you receive safe and accurate treatment. Throughout your treatment, members of your team check and recheck your plan. Sophisticated computers are also used to monitor and ensure proper treatment is given.

If you undergo external beam radiation therapy, you will not be “radioactive” following treatment, because the radiation does not stay in your body. However, if you undergo brachytherapy, tiny radioactive sources will be implanted inside your body, in or around the tumor, either temporarily or permanently. Your radiation oncology team will explain any special precautions that you or your family and friends may need to take.

Portable Treatment for Glioblastoma

Coborn Cancer Center offers Optune®, an FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma (GBM). This portable and wearable device is the first FDA-approved therapy in more than a decade for newly diagnosed GBM.

Optune is approved for the treatment of adult patients (22 years of age or older) with GBM. For newly diagnosed patients, Optune is used with the chemotherapy temozolomide (TMZ) after surgery and radiation with TMZ.

For recurrent patients, it can be used alone when surgery and radiation treatment options have been exhausted. In a clinical trial, adding Optune to TMZ was proven to delay GBM tumor growth and extend survival in newly diagnosed patients compared with TMZ alone.optune

For more information about this device, visit

Stereotactic Radiation Therapy

More Options, Shorter Treatment Times

True Beam™ system from Varian allows us to provide the patients we serve with shorter treatment times and more treatment options. 

Stereotactic Radiation Therapy:

  • Works best for very small tumors.
  • Uses multiple narrow radiation beams.
  • Targets small, well-defined areas with precision.
  • Minimizes the effect on nearby organs due to extreme accuracy of treatment delivery.
  • Gives high doses of radiation safely and accurately over just a few treatments (usually up to five).

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT):

We now offer SBRT which is used to treat small tumors in the chest, abdomen or pelvis that cannot be removed surgically or treated with conventional radiation therapy. SBRT is delivered by a team led by a radiation oncologist. 

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS):

Coborn Cancer Center will soon offer SRS which is used to treat tumors of the brain or spine that cannot be removed surgically or treated with conventional radiation therapy. SRS is delivered by a team involving a radiation oncologist and a neurosurgeon. This treatment does not does not involve surgery. 

Visual Imagery & Music

Research has shown that your physical health is greatly influenced by your emotional state of mind. In an effort to enhance our patients' emotional state of mind, we have strategically placed beautiful lighted imagery throughout the radiation department, and we offer our patients the option of listening to their choice of music during their treatments.

It is our hope that by incorporating both music and visual imagery into our patients' treatment regimen, we can enhance the body’s physical healing ability to allow for a better radiation therapy experience and ultimately a better outcome for our patients.

Specialists Centered on You

We have dedicated, skilled, board-certified professionals centered on your needs. 

  • Your Radiation Oncologist (doctor) plans, prescribes and oversees your radiation treatments.
  • A Radiation Therapist, who you will see every day, administers the radiation treatments, keeps daily records and regularly inspects the treatment machine.
  • A medical physicist works with the radiation oncologist to ensure accuracy of your treatment delivery by checking and calibrating the equipment and taking precise measurements of the radiation beam.
  • A medical dosimetrist works with the radiation oncologist and complex computer systems to custom design your treatment plan calculating the right dose of radiation aiming to effectively treat the tumor while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible.
  • A registered nurse who specializes in oncology care is available to help you and your family learn about the treatment and how to manage side effects.
  • A scheduler will help set up your treatment schedule.

Contact Us

General Information

Nurse Advisor

Medical Oncology Referrals
320-229-4902, ext. 70698
Fax: 320-200-3252

Radiation Referrals
320-229-4900, ext. 70840
Fax: 320-229-5003

Coborn Cancer Center Events & Support Groups

Coborn Cancer Center has many events and support groups to help you through your cancer journey.

View the list of current offerings

CentraCare's My Health eNews

Get the latest news on the health topics that matter most to you — delivered straight to your inbox every month.

Sign up for our newsletter