External beam radiation therapy (EBT)
Look to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula’s skilled radiation oncology team for external beam therapy (EBT), an advanced treatment option to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells.
External beam therapy is a common type of radiation therapy that uses high-energy beams to treat cancer. A machine called a linear accelerator targets and sends a dose of radiation to the tumor. Precise targeting helps minimize harm to healthy tissue.
What to expect
Rely on your cancer care team to help you prepare and know what to expect. Our radiation therapy specialists will carefully plan and perform your treatment, so you reach the best outcome possible.
The first step of EBT is a simulation, which means you practice the process of getting radiation therapy. Your technologist will help position you on a table in the same position you’ll be in during EBT. You may have straps or pillows to help you stay comfortably in the right place.
Then, a simulator machine will take X-rays. You may also get a computed tomography (CT) scan. Your radiation oncologist will use the images from the simulator and the CT scan to check the size of the tumor and the specific area to be treated.
Your radiation oncologist will work with a physicist and dosimetrist to:
- Determine the amount of radiation you need
- Develop a treatment plan to deliver the right dose to the tumor while protecting healthy surrounding tissue
Your treatment sessions
You’ll rest on the linear accelerator table in the same position you were in during the simulation, using any props needed to help you stay in the correct position.
EBT treatment only takes a few minutes. When the procedure starts, the machine will move around you. You may hear buzzing noises but will not feel anything from the machine. You’ll be alone in the treatment room but able to communicate with your technologist at all times.
How many treatments will I need?
Your treatment plan will be personalized to you. Most patients have radiation therapy once daily, Monday through Friday, for one to nine weeks.