A type of radiation therapy, 3D conformal radiation is commonly used to treat cancer. Radiation therapy uses powerful energy beams to kill cancer cells. The energy can come from X-rays, protons or other sources. In 3D conformal radiation, the beams are carefully shaped to match the shape of the cancer.
To prepare for 3D conformal radiation, you undergo advanced imaging tests to create detailed pictures of the cancer. Radiation therapy professionals use the images to plan the shape and path of the radiation beams. The planning delivers high doses of radiation to the target and minimizes the amounts of radiation that reach the surrounding healthy tissue.
This type of radiation therapy is used to treat cancers. It also can be used to treat some tumors that aren't cancerous. It can be used on cancers and tumors anywhere in the body.
Since 3D conformal radiation was invented, many other advanced radiation techniques have been developed. Your radiation therapy team carefully considers your particular situation when choosing the type of radiation that's best for you. Whether you have 3D conformal radiation or another technique depends on the location of your cancer and which healthy tissues are nearby. If you have concerns or questions about the type of radiation you'll receive, discuss them with your radiation therapy team.