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Advanced Radiation Treatments

Benefis has provided the most advanced radiation oncology services in our area since the 1970s. All our physicians and staff are board-certified in their respective areas, and our program is accredited through the American College of Surgeons. No other program in Montana offers care at this level.

The Most Effective Therapy for Your Cancer

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses beams of intense energy (usually X-rays) to kill cancer cells. We offer the full range of radiation therapies, including treatments such as:

External Beam Radiation Therapy

This therapy aims radiation at the cancer from a machine called a linear accelerator. Advances in this field, such as image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allow doctors to be highly precise with targeting tumors and sparing healthy tissue.


With brachytherapy, the radiation source is placed internally, close to the tumor. This puts a higher dose of radiation in the target area while harming as few normal cells as possible. Brachytherapy is used to treat a variety of cancer types, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and others. The brachytherapy implant can be in the form of small seeds or pellets, ribbons, or wires. It may be permanent or temporary.

Permanent brachytherapy is implanted with a delivery device such as a needle or catheter. The radiation diminishes over time. If the implant is temporary, the delivery device is left in place for a period of time that can range from minutes to days. It is then removed along with the radiation source.

Depending on the type of cancer, the radiation source may be placed in body tissue or inside a body cavity, such as the vagina, uterus, or throat. Side effects of brachytherapy are similar to those of external beam radiation, but are usually less severe. You may also have swelling, pain, or bruising at the site of the implant.


For women who have had a lumpectomy to remove a breast cancer, Mammosite® offers an alternative to six or seven weeks of external beam radiation therapy. Over a period of just five days, this system delivers internal radiation therapy via radioactive seeds temporarily inserted inside the breast. Mammosite® treatments, which are a type of brachytherapy, limit the exposure of healthy cells to radiation.