The most high-tech, advanced cancer radiation therapies available today are offered right here at Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center, and our new Shoreline Cancer Center opening in the fall of 2017. We create and customize treatment plans to optimize outcomes while minimizing exposure to healthy tissue, combining cutting-edge technology with a dedication to patient-centered care.
Therapies and Technology
The Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center radiation oncology team offers the most advanced treatment in a caring, compassionate environment. Our highly skilled, board certified physicians and professionals are fully equipped to administer the following therapies, and are available to discuss the particulars of any technique or technology included in your treatment plan.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
Middlesex Hospital is proud to offer two of the newest, most advanced forms of intensity-modulated radiation therapy available. The Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center is one of only five cancer treatment facilities in Connecticut to offer Novalis Tx® Linear Accelerator technology for IMRT therapy, which provides unprecedented accuracy in pinpointing tumors to deliver more precise, higher doses of radiation with less damage to the surrounding tissue.
When it opens in the fall of 2017, our new Shoreline Cancer Center will be home to Connecticut’s newest radiation therapy machine. The Elekta Linear Accelerator includes groundbreaking technology that allows for the treatment of left-sided breast cancer while minimizing the risk of damage to the heart.
Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
A method of disease management using advanced imaging technology to continually monitor and adjust patient position prior to dailyt treatment for more effective, precise treatment with fewer side effects.
3D Conformal Radiation Therapy
A technique where the beams of radiation used in treatment are shaped to match the tumor, minimizing exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Prostate Seed Implant
This cutting-edge treatment option, in which radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate gland to deliver localized, high doses of radiation to prostate tumors, is available to patients at the Comprehensive Prostate Program department at Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center.
Radiation therapists often use RapidArc image-guided technology to improve tumor targeting and increase speed in delivering IMRT and IGRT treatments.
As a patient receiving radiation therapy at Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center, you have access to many patient and family services to support you throughout the your journey—including support groups, distress management, nutrition services, integrative therapies, and more.
Middlesex Hospital offers FREE bus service to patients of the Radiation Oncology Department living in the Shoreline area. If you choose to use this service, your treatment will be scheduled between 10 and 11:15 a.m., and you should be prepared to wait up to one and one-half hours for others using the bus service to complete their treatments. While you wait, you can enjoy food and beverages in our comfortable atrium area or visit our patient resource library.
For more information about this and other transportation services, call 860-358-2100 or try the Transportation Services page.
Electronic Medical Records
The Radiation Oncology department was the first to convert to fully electronic medical records. Electronic medical records allow for greater accuracy and efficiency in delivery and documentation of your treatment. This allows us to provide the highest quality patient care available and demonstrates our mission and vision to meet the healthcare needs of the communities we serve.
Radiation Oncology FAQs
What is radiation and how does it work?
Radiation is a specialized therapy in which high-energy x-rays are used to shrink and/or destroys cancer cells. Here are some important things to know about radiation treatment:
- The machine used to deliver radiation therapy is called a linear accelerator, which directs the high energy x-rays at the tumor or tumor bed (site where tumor was removed).
- The total radiation dose is divided into daily treatments, which are given Monday through Friday.
- The number of treatments depends on the type of cancer and where it is located. Treatments can last as long as 6 to 8 weeks. Your doctor will inform you of the number of treatments you need.
- During treatment, you will not feel or see anything.
- The effects of the treatments continue for 6 to 8 weeks after you have finished treatment.
- You may start to notice the side effects after 2 to 3 weeks. They are specific to where the radiation is given. Your doctor and nurse will explain the potential side effects related to your specific treatment plan.
- You will be seen on a regular basis by your health care team, who will address your questions and concerns. It is important to let them know if you start to have side effects of treatment.
What is simulation?
Simulation is the process of setting up the treatment area. This process can last up to one-half hour. Once all simulation work is done, your treatment plan will be developed using a special computer system.
What is a linear accelerator?
Linear accelerators use a wave-guided device that accelerates electrons to high velocity, which collide with a heavy metal target to release x-rays. Middlesex Hospital is one of only five cancer treatment facilities in Connecticut to offer the state-of-the-art Novalis Tx® Linear Accelerator technology, and the Elekta Linear Accelerator at our Shoreline Cancer Center will be the newest in the state.
How will I be billed for radiation therapy?
There are two charges for radiation therapy. One is for hospital-related services, and the other is your physician’s fee. For questions about charges for hospital services, please call the Billing Department at 860-343-4870. For questions regarding physician fees, please call the Billing Central Connecticut Radiation Oncology at 860-704-0106.
Will Medicare or insurance cover my radiation therapy?
Medicare and most insurances provide coverage for the cost of radiation therapy and related services. Middlesex Hospital and its radiation oncologists accept assignment from Medicare. We will work with you and your insurance provider to figure out what coverage you have. If certain fees are not covered by your insurance plan, or you are without insurance coverage, our staff social worker can help you identify financial assistance options for which you might be eligible.