Intensity- Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)

A doctor and patient discuss intensity-modulated radiation therapy at Baptist Cancer Center

What is IMRT?

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy aims to deliver high dosages of radiation in certain areas that need it, while delivering minimal amounts of radiation to surrounding areas, therefore reducing side-effects of radiation exposure.

How does intensity-modulated radiation therapy work?

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) breaks up radiation into thousands of tiny pencil-thin radiation beams, allowing the intensity of radiation to change during treatment sessions. This kind of modulation allows different areas of a tumor and nearby tissues to receive different doses of radiation.

IMRT uses inverse treatment planning. In most types of radiation therapy, an oncologist determines the number and angle of the radiation beams and a computer calculates the dosage of radiation needed. In inverse treatment planning, an oncologist determines the dosage of radiation needed for different parts of the tumor and the surrounding tissue and a highly sophisticated computer program calculates the number and angle of the beams.

Learn about image-guided radiation therapy, also called IGRT, offered at Baptist Cancer Center.

What is IMRT used to treat?

IMRT may be used to treat tumors in the brain, pancreas, lungs, prostate, head, neck, liver, breast and pelvis.

What are the side effects of IMRT radiation?

Depending on the area being treated, side effects may include:

  • Hair loss, soreness or swelling in the treatment area
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Digestion problems
  • Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Bladder changes

Radiation therapy can cause side effects during or immediately after treatment, but these typically resolve within a few weeks. If you experience side effects, consult your doctor so he or she can help you manage them.

Learn More About Our Cancer Services

Baptist Cancer Center is proud to be a leading-edge hospital that provides close-to-home cancer treatment and care for patients and their families. In addition to IMRT, we offer a comprehensive range of cancer services—from chemotherapy and reconstructive surgery to genetic counseling and more. Discover the cancer services in which our dedicated physicians and staff specialize.

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