Radiation oncology is a medical specialty that involves treating cancer with radiation. Doctors who specialize in treating cancer with radiation (radiation oncologists) use radiation therapy to treat a wide variety of cancers.

Radiation therapy uses carefully targeted and regulated doses of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation causes some cancer cells to die immediately after treatment, but most die because the radiation damages the chromosomes and DNA so the cells can no longer divide and the tumor can't grow.

Radiation oncologists at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota treat malignant diseases and work closely with medical oncologists, surgeons and other doctors to coordinate the best care for you.

Read more about radiation therapy.

Why choose Mayo Clinic for radiation oncology

  • Experience and advanced technology. Mayo Clinic's radiation therapy combines the quality and capability of state-of-the-art equipment with the expertise and compassion of the medical staff.
  • Specialized skills. Each doctor or radiation oncologist has specialized training in performing radiation treatment for people with cancer. The doctors further specialize by concentrating their individual practices on treating different types of cancers, including complex and rare cancers. This specialized expertise ensures precision treatment and improved outcomes.
  • Individualized treatment. Mayo Clinic's radiation oncology professionals tailor treatment to your specific situation. After the radiation oncologist identifies the areas of cancer to be treated, radiation therapy is carefully planned and simulated before actual treatment to minimize the dose of radiation to normal tissues.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence, a strong research program and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Innovative clinical research studies. Clinical research studies designed by Mayo Clinic researchers and others are available to eligible people with cancer. Clinical studies provide the opportunity to participate in the newest and most innovative investigative programs that may offer the greatest hope for some of the most difficult cancer problems.