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Radiation Oncology

In the treatment of cancer, innovative and exciting diagnostic tools and treatment options are available in radiation oncology. At Rees Skillern Cancer Institute, located at CHI Memorial Hospital Chattanooga and CHI Memorial - Parkway, patients are reaping the rewards of advanced technology, the expertise of physicians and technologists, and the team approach they take to treating the whole person.

Treatment planning

While undergoing treatment, patients become like family to our multidisciplinary radiation oncology team. The team includes radiation oncologists, physicists, dosimetrists, nurses and technologists, all working together on customized treatment plans.

Sophisticated imaging technologies perform 3D computerized mapping of exact tumor dimensions that help guide therapy by targeting tumors with precise doses of radiation. Physicians receive critical information to assess and reassess treatment as it progresses.


Radiation is a type of energy used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. New technology provides options for delivering the radiation depending on the size and location of the tumor. At CHI Memorial, we have the most up - to - date cancer treatment machines in the industry. We have the TrueBeam STX , Novalis TX , and the Siemens' primus linear accelerators. These machines use radiation to treat the patient’s tumor. The TrueBeam machine is the most advanced and performs many forms of radiotherapy. These include intensity - modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and image guided radiotherapy (IGRT). IMRT is a treatment technique where doctors are able to customize your radiation dose by varying (or modulating) the amount of radiation that is sent to different parts of your tumor. IGRT uses advanced imaging so doctors and clinicians can visualize your tumor. This allows them to verify the exact position of the tumor and treat it precisely each day.

Radiosurgery is also a form of radiation delivery procedure that precisely delivers large radiation doses to tumors and other relevant anatomical targets in one to five treatments. The goal of this non - invasive procedure is to destroy, or make inactive, the target anatomy while minimizing dose exposure to the surrounding healthy tissue. Radio surgery began by treating targets in the brain and has now extended to targets in the spine and other organs in the body. Since these involve a small number of treatments, they are generally completed within the same week.

All of the treatments are prescribed by your radiation oncologist and customized to your specific tumor. Each tumor is different, but our True Beam machine can shape the radiation beam to accurately match the size and form of any tumor regardless of its shape.

High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy or Mammosite treatments deliver radiation internally with a radiation source implanted near the tumor site. Both of these treatments protect healthy tissue.

Support at every step

At CHI Memorial Rees Skillern Cancer Institute, anyone diagnosed with cancer has access to a nurse navigator, a designated point of contact who can educate you on the disease process, answer questions, help you prepare physically and emotionally for treatment, provide resources and connect you with other modes of support throughout this journey.  These include access to dietitians, clinical social workers, massage therapists, and chaplains who focus on spiritual care and advance care planning. Visit CHI Memorial Center for Cancer Support or call (423) 495-7778 for more information.