Cancer Treatment

Setting the Standard in Treatment and Technology

Cancer patients no longer have to travel outside of the Mid-South to receive high-quality services. The Radiation Oncology Centers offer a full range of high-tech radiation equipment, including two simulators, both with CT capability; three linear accelerators; two and three-dimensional treatment planning computer systems; a high dose rate brachytherapy unit; and a prostate brachytherapy program.

About the Treatment Process

First Visit

Your treatment options will depend on a number of factors, including the type of tumor, the extent of the disease at the time of diagnosis and medical history. Your personal feelings about the treatment, your quality of life and your lifestyle also will be important considerations in our physician’s assessment and recommendations. A radiation oncologist, a doctor with special training in using radiation to treat diseases, will prescribe the type and amount of treatment that best suits your needs.

Treatment Planning

After a physical exam and review of your medical history, the radiation oncologist may need to do some special planning to pinpoint the treatment area.

In a process called simulation, you will be asked to lie very still on a table while the radiation therapist uses a special x-ray machine or CT unit to define the fields to be treated. This process may take half an hour to an hour, and we may construct devices to hold you in one position because it will help ensure the radiation therapist accurately sets up your treatment. Marks will be placed on your skin that will be used to position you for treatment. A return appointment will be scheduled to verify and begin your treatments.

After your simulation, the physician will decide how much radiation is needed, how it will be delivered and how many treatments you should have. Treatment planning computer software is then used to examine the most effective techniques for treatment.

Daily Treatments

The radiation oncology staff will work with you to schedule convenient appointment times. Usually, treatments are administered Monday through Friday, typically from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Each patient has a special treatment, so the area to be treated and the length of treatment are different for each person. Much of the time in the treatment room is spent setting up the area to be treated. The actual treatment takes just a few minutes each day.

After the Treatment Process

All patients receive post-treatment instructions and a survey form after their last treatment. The radiation oncology staff takes all comments and suggestions seriously, so everyone’s opinion makes a difference. We want our patients to be very satisfied with the care provided by the staff of the Radiation Oncology Center.

Things to Remember

  • All side effects that occur during radiation therapy are manageable.
  • The radiation passes through the body and does not remain in you. You are not radioactive.
  • Only the body part in the field of radiation is affected.
  • Normal cells exposed to radiation begin to repair themselves soon after exposure.
  • Make sure to get plenty of rest. Get more sleep at night, take naps during the day and let family members help when they can.
  • Side effects usually improve within a few weeks.
  • Call the Radiation Oncology Center at 901-226-0340 with any questions or concerns you might have during your treatment.

Treatment Options and Technology

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

A Breakthrough in Cancer Treatment

Rather than having a few large radiation beams pass through the body, with IMRT the radiation is broken up into thousands of tiny pencil-thin radiation beams. With pinpoint accuracy, these beams enter the body from many angles and destroy cancer cells.

Advantages of IMRT

  • Higher dosage of radiation to tumors and lower doses to surrounding healthy tissue
  • Ability to safely treat tumors located near critical organs, such as the eye and spinal cord
  • Reduced radiation side effects

IMRT may be used to treat the following types of cancer:

  • Brain
  • Pancreatic
  • Lung
  • Prostate
  • Head and neck
  • Some types of liver cancer
  • Breast, gynecological and recurrent pelvic cancers

For more information about IMRT or radiation therapy, call the Baptist Center for Cancer Care-Memphis at 901-226-0340.

Prostate Brachytherapy

The Radiation Oncology Center at Baptist Center for Cancer Care-Memphis offers prostate brachytherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer in adult men. Brachytherapy can be used to treat prostate cancer when the cancer is confined to the prostate gland. The procedure involves nonsurgically implanting tiny radioactive pellets about the size of a grain of rice directly into the middle of the cancer, where they give off radiation for about one year. Using a rectal ultrasound, physicians implant the pellets into the prostate with guide needles.

Advantages of Using Brachytherapy

  • It eliminates diseases caused by surgical incision into the abdominal cavity, which is the traditional method of treatment for prostate cancer.
  • It is an outpatient procedure, so patients do not have to stay in the hospital.
  • Patients recover and can return to normal activity more quickly.
  • Allows for precise placement of the seeds and results in a more uniform seed distribution throughout the prostate
  • Minimal bleeding from procedure
  • Relatively low long-term morbidity
  • One-time procedure
  • More comfortable procedure for older patients in poor medical condition
  • Preserves sexual potency
  • Almost no patients experience urinary incontinence
  • Proven to be highly effective with few side effects

At the Radiation Oncology Center, we have performed more than 275 brachytherapy procedures since 1997. Our brachytherapy team comprises urologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, medical dosimetrists and nursing staff and is involved with the patient from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. The Radiation Oncology Center is the only team in the West Tennessee area that provides real-time dosimetric planning using an ultrasound-guided technique.

For more information about prostate brachytherapy, consult your physician and/or the Radiation Oncology Center at 901-226-0340.

Trilogy Technology

In 2007, Baptist Centers for Cancer Care became the first in the Mid-South to offer treatment using Varian Medical System's Trilogy linear accelerator and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy technology. Housed on the Baptist Memphis campus, Trilogy makes it possible to deliver a wide range of ultra-precise treatments for all cancers with great speed.

Trilogy represents a new generation in cancer care. We are now able to treat cancers with radiation more accurately than ever before. We can target even the smallest tumors without damaging the normal tissue surrounding it.

Trilogy also represents a major step forward in patient comfort. Because we can zero in on the tumor, we can deliver very high doses of radiation, which means you spend less time in treatment.

More precise treatments in less time with substantially fewer side effects. That’s Trilogy.

Contact Us

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis

6019 Walnut Grove Rd.
Memphis, Tenn. 38120



Patient Education Resources

Many newly diagnosed cancer patients have questions about their disease. Baptist staff understands the concerns you have and will do all we can to answer your questions.  Additionally, a number of websites have a wealth of information about cancer that may address your questions, including:

Daily Bread