• Radiation Therapy

  • Penrose Cancer Center offers all modalities of radiation treatments including brachytherapy, cranial and extracranial stereotactic radiosurgey with CyberKnife®, real time permanent seed implants for prostate cancer and partial breast irradiation.

    Radiation treatment plans and technologies are customized by Penrose Cancer Center to each patient's individual needs, incorporating a highly effective dose of radiation to destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissue. Depending on the location, size and type of tumor, treatment may include one or more therapies featuring various forms of external beam radiation including CyberKnife®, the ultimate in new cancer-fighting technology, either alone or sometimes in combination with brachytherapy, an internal treatment technique. 

    To schedule an appointment please call (719) 776-5281.

  • Drs. Peddada and Monroe are the region's foremost experts in radiosurgery, offering more than 20 years of combined experience to southern Colorado patients. With the introduction of southern Colorado's only CyberKnife Radiosurgery System, Drs. Peddada and Monroe are the only physicians in the region to offer this revolutionary cancer-fighting technology.

     


    Dr. PeddadaAnuj Peddada, MD

    Anuj V. Peddada, MD, is a graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Medicine. He completed his medical internship in the Department of Internal Medicine at Louisiana State University Medical Center and his residency in Radiation Oncology at Southern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he also served as Chief Resident and Staff Radiation Oncologist. Along with practicing medicine, Dr. Peddada has also served as a clinical instructor at the UCLA School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology. 
      
    In 1994 he was awarded the American College of Radiation Oncology Fellowship in 3-D Conformal Radiotherapy, which he completed at both Fox Chase Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He also received specialized training in gamma knife radiosurgery in Stockholm, Sweden. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology (Radiation Oncology). 
      
    At Penrose Cancer Center, Dr. Peddada launched the high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy (prostate, gynecological, breast, esophageal and lung), IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) programs. He now teaches a course in IMRT for head and neck, as well as prostate cancers with physicians from across the country traveling to Colorado Springs to attend his course. 
      
    Dr. Peddada is active in research and has served as principal investigator for RTOG cancer trials. Currently, he is actively participating in a national study on partial breast irradiation. Penrose is the only site in southern Colorado that offers patients all three techniques of partial breast irradiation on this important study including multi-catheter, mammosite and 3-D conformal radiation. He is also published in a wide array of professional journals. 
      
    Dr. Peddada currently serves as the Medical Director for the department of Radiation Oncology at Penrose Cancer Center. In 2006 the El Paso County Medical Society and Peak Vista Community Health Centers recognized him for his volunteer service to the Colorado Springs community. He has also received the Sword of Hope Award, given for outstanding work in the field of cancer, from the American Cancer Society

    Dr. MonroeAlan Monroe, MD

    Alan T. Monroe, MD, is a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia - Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his medical internship in the Department of Internal Medicine at Maine Medical Center and his residency in Radiation Oncology at University of Florida, where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Monroe has also served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.
     
    Among his many awards and scholarships, Dr. Monroe was the recipient of the Aesculapian Scholar from 1997-1999, the Susan J. Mellete Cancer Scholarship, and the 2005 RSNA Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award. He is board certified by the American Board of Radiology (Radiation Oncology) and is widely published on topics including head and neck, breast and gastric cancers, and has presented at a variety of prestigious conferences across the country.
     
    Dr. Monroe brings a wealth of experience in the Radiation Oncology field, including high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy (prostate, gynecological), IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) programs. He also has a special interest in head and neck and central nervous system cancer treatments.

    CyberKnife®, a new and exciting option in external radiation therapy, is now available at Penrose Cancer Center. This ultimate cancer-fighting technology attacks hard-to-reach tumors anywhere in the body and offers a non-surgical alternative to cancer treatment with no incisions, anesthesia or inpatient hospital stay and little or no side effects.

    Because it uses stereotactic radiosurgery technology, CyberKnife® can attack cancer from all angles using a focused beam of radiation with pinpoint accuracy and can treat tumors previously thought to be inoperable including brain, head and neck, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate and spine.

    To date, more than 50,000 patients have been treated by the CyberKnife® System worldwide. The physicians at Penrose Cancer Center can determine if CyberKnife® treatment may be right for you.

    In as few as one to five treatments, CyberKnife® technology offers a pain-free, non-invasive alternative to cancer surgery that requires no anesthesia and has few to no side effects. Unlike traditional surgery, CyberKnife® treatments, often more powerful and effective than traditional radiation, are performed on an outpatient basis with minimal recovery time and post-treatment complications, with patients returning to normal activities almost immediately. It is also less confining and more comfortable than traditional radiosurgery treatments. 

    Steps in each patient's CyberKnife® treatment process typically include:

    • Scanning prior to treatment to determine the size, shape and location of the tumor
    • Developing a treatment plan to target the tumor while minimizing risk to surrounding healthy tissue
    • Painless, comfortable, non-invasive treatment lasting 30 to 90 minutes, completed in one to five visits
    • Follow-up imaging to determine the tumor's response to radiation.

     

    Check out our Video Gallery to see how CyberKnife works, and what to expect from CyberKnife Treatment.

    External beam radiation therapy, directed from a machine outside the patient's body, is as painless as getting an X-ray. The most common type of machine used is the linear accelerator that produces high-energy X-rays guided by sophisticated planning software that controls the size, shape and direction of the beam. Your radiation oncologist will determine if this type of treatment is right for you. 
    Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) uses sophisticated computers and scans including CTMRI or PET to create detailed, three-dimensional images of tumors. With this advanced technology, radiation oncologists can control the shape of the radiation beams to conform to the precise size and shape of the tumors while maintaining the integrity of the surrounding, healthy tissue.
    A specialized form of 3D-CRT, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) allows even more precise control than 3D-CRT since radiation is broken up into "beamlets" and the intensity of each beamlet can be individually adjusted. In some cases, higher doses of radiation can be delivered to tumor sites because there is less risk of affecting healthy tissue. IMRT allows the radiation dose to be optimally shaped to fit the tumor, avoiding nearby sensitive areas. 

    Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) is an advanced type of conformal radiation treatment guided by imaging equipment that utilizes CT,  ultrasound or stereotactic X-rays, allowing doctors to fuse images taken prior to treatment with real-time images during treatment to detect and compensate for even the slightest movement of the cancer between procedures. 

    IGRT is radiation therapy that delivers highly accurate doses of radiation. Images taken during the course of treatment are compare to those captured during treatment planning, thus tracking changes in the patient's body or position that could shift the location of the cancer. This high degree of accuracy is effective in complex cancer treatment.

    As part of our comprehensive approach to cancer care, Penrose Cancer Center offers brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation or implant therapy. This internal therapy may be used alone or in conjunction with external beam radiation therapies. Depending on the type of cancer, radioactive sources may be implanted within the body as either temporary or permanent treatments, with most treatments being temporary high-dose rate implants. Brachytherapy allows for a large dose of radiation directly at the source of the cancer cells with minimal effects on healthy tissue. Patients may receive several treatments over a number of days or weeks, usually with little discomfort and the ability to return home shortly after the procedure.

    Before Treatment

    ConsultationRadiation Treatment at Penrose Cancer Center
    Scheduling an appointment with a caring, world-class radiation oncologist will help determine if radiation therapy is right for you. During your initial visit, a radiation professional will review your current medical problems, past medical history, surgical history, family history, medications, allergies and lifestyle to determine your candidacy and need for radiation. Along with a thorough examination, pre-treatment medical tests will also be performed and your radiation oncologist will discuss potential radiation benefits and risks and provide an opportunity to ask questions.

    Simulation and Treatment Planning
    To help your team direct radiation safely and exactly, a simulation is performed. During simulation, the patient is positioned in the manner that treatment will be administered, and a CT scan is taken of the area to be treated. Small marks are placed on the skin as part of the set-up process the day before treatment. For some patients, a 4-dimensional CT scan to measure respiratory motion of lung tumors may be used as well at MRI or PET scans. The simulation process typically takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes. 

    Your care planning team, consisting of your physician, a physicist and a dosimetrist, will review all resulting information along with other previous medical tests or images, ultimately arriving at a customized treatment plan that is the best possible approach to treating your cancer. 

    During Treatment

    External Beam Radiation Therapy Treatments
    External Beam Radiation Therapy consists of directing X-ray beams from a machine outside the body to a specified area inside. These treatments are painless and usually given on an outpatient basis, once per day Monday through Friday, but may be administered twice per day based on physician orders. Treatments take place over the course of one to eight weeks and take approximately 15 to 30 minutes each. Treatments are scheduled between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. 

    Weekly Status Checks
    To ensure your treatments are progressing according to your treatment plan, oncology patients meet with one of our radiation oncologists once a week on an alternating basis. During this time, any side effects, concerns and questions will be addressed. Changes in your schedule or treatment plan may also be made. 

    Imaging During Treatment
    To ensure that the treatment beams remain precisely aimed at the proper target, your treatment team will also use the treatment machine or separate imaging devices such as ultrasound during or before treatment to determine changes in tumor position. These images may be taken daily or weekly.

    Personal Care During Treatment

    Get Plenty of Rest
    To help with the common side effect of fatigue during radiation therapy, be sure to get plenty of rest.

    Eat a Balanced, Nutritious Diet
    Proper nutrition is very important and includes consuming in the correct amount of calories, vitamins and minerals during radiation treatment. For the best outcomes, dieting should be avoided along with certain antioxidants that might interfere with treatment.

    Treat the Skin Exposed to Radiation with Extra Care
    The skin area receiving radiation may become red and sensitive. Some helpful care instructions include:

    • Cleanse the skin daily with warm water and a mild soap recommended by your nurse
    • Follow skin care instructions given by your oncology nurse during the first week of treatment
    • Avoid using lotions, perfumes, deodorants or powders in the treatment area unless your doctor or nurse approves them, avoid any products containing alcohol or perfume
    • Treated skin is sensitive to fluctuations in hot and cold including heating and ice packs
    • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher on treated areas and avoid sun exposure of the area altogether

    Emotional Support
    Receiving good emotional support during treatment can help patients cope with the common psychological symptoms of cancer treatment including anxiety, depression, fear and hopelessness. Many patients find it very helpful to talk about their feelings with a close friend, family member, nurse, social worker, chaplain or psychologist. Penrose Cancer Center also offers many support groups for patients undergoing cancer treatment. For more information please call Sherry Martin at (719) 776-5311.

    After Treatment

    Follow-Up
    To ensure that each patient's recovery is in line with their customized treatment plan, follow-up appointments will be scheduled with your radiation oncologist after radiation therapy is completed. In addition to monitoring your status, additional diagnostic tests may be ordered and reports may be sent to other doctors for optimum outcomes.

    Click the link to download the New Patient Paperwork.
  • Dr. Alan Monroe - Radiation

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