Radiation Oncology

When using radiation to treat your cancer, you want the most technologically advanced treatment as possible along with the compassionate care that comes only from St. Elizabeth's.

Man receiving a medical scan, rear view.

Our Radiation Oncology Center at the Cancer Care Center of O’Fallon offers state-of-the-art radiation treatments for cancer patients. 

What is radiation oncology and how does it work?

Cancer is a disease that causes normal cells in the body to grow out of control. Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying and growing. Radiation is generated by specialized equipment or by radioactive sources implanted inside the patient.

Radiation therapy is painless, and you do not feel anything while the treatments are given. It can be used alone in the fight against cancer or in conjunction with surgery and/or chemotherapy.

Woman receiving medical scan

What to expect

On the day of your first treatment, you will be positioned using your immobilization device on the treatment table. The Linear Accelerator will then take a miniature CT scan of the treatment region using on board imaging, and the images will be superimposed on your simulation CT scan. 

Depending on your diagnosis, the actual treatment length varies from five to 60 minutes to complete. You will not feel anything during the treatment, but you will see the treatment machine rotate around you while it is taking images or delivering the treatment. During the treatment, the high-energy Linear Accelerator will deliver a radiation plan that has been predetermined by the Radiation Oncologist, and has been customized for your anatomy. This process will be repeated for every one of your treatments to assure the greatest precision and accuracy. Your radiation therapists lead this process. 

TrueBeam radiation linear accelerator

Our technologies and treatments

Radiation Linear Accelerator and CT-simulator – The high-precision TrueBeam medical linear accelerator (LINAC) customizes high energy x-rays or electrons to conform to a tumor's shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. It features several built-in safety measures to ensure that it will deliver the dose as prescribed and is routinely checked by a medical physicist.

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) - Intensity-modulated radiotherapy uses linear accelerators to safely deliver precise radiation to a tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding normal tissue.

Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) - Image-guided radiation therapy is the use of imaging during radiation therapy to improve the precision and accuracy of treatment delivery. It is used to treat tumors in areas of the body that move, such as the lungs. 

Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy (SBRT) - Stereotactic radiosurgery is a non-surgical radiation therapy used to treat functional abnormalities and small tumors of the brain. It can deliver precisely-targeted radiation in fewer high-dose treatments than traditional therapy, which can help preserve healthy tissue. When SRS is used to treat body tumors, it's called stereotactic body radiotherapy.

Our providers

Camille Williams, MD

Camille M. Williams, MD

Certification: Radiation Oncology | American Board of Radiology
Military Service (US Army)
  • Enlisted, NBC 54B
  • Officer, LTC (Ret.) 61Q

  • American Society of Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology
  • American College of Radiology
  • National Medical Association
  • Illinois State Medical Society
  • Military Officers Association of America

  • Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) "Best of 2015" award for best leadership article, "Radiologists: The Unsuspecting Subject Matter Experts"

  • Kingston, Jamaica West Indies
Jacob Witt, MD

Jacob Witt, MD

Certification: Radiation Oncology | American Board of Radiology
  • American Society of Radiation Oncology
  • American College of Radiation Oncology
  • American College of Radiology
  • Radiological Society of North America
  • Society for Neuro-Oncology

  • Wisconsin Association of Hematology/Oncology Outstanding Abstract Top Winner, 2020
  • American Radium Society Travel Grant, 2020
  • ASTRO Junior Investigator Award for Basic/Translational Science, 2019

  • St. Louis, MO

Frequently asked questions about radiation treatment

Q. Will I lose my hair?
A. You will only lose your hair if we are treating in the head region.

Q. Is it safe to be around other people while receiving radiation treatments?
A. Yes. While receiving external radiation treatments, you are not at risk of endangering others.

Q. How long will my treatment session last?
A. Each treatment session will last between 15 and 20 minutes.

Q. Do I have to come every day?
A. Yes. Treatments are given Monday through Friday.

Q. How tired will I be?
A. Fatigue is a side effect of radiation, but most people are able to continue with their daily activities.

Q. What are some of the other common side effects to radiation treatment?
A. Since radiation treatment is localized to the area of your body with the tumor, your side effects generally are limited to that area as well. Your skin might be red, irritated or swollen at the treatment site. Please talk to your doctor about the side effects you might experience based on the location of your tumor.

Q. Can I drive myself?
A. Most patients are able to drive themselves to treatment, but check with your physician to make sure it is safe for your particular case.

Q. Does radiation therapy hurt?
A. No. Radiation therapy is much like receiving an X-ray. You will not feel anything while receiving treatment.

Q. Will I have to wait long before getting an appointment to see the doctor?
A. No. Most new patients are able to schedule an appointment within one week of calling.

Q. What happens after my radiation treatment is finished?
A. Every patient’s treatment plan is unique. Talk to your doctor to find out what your next steps will be. Remember, you are not alone in this fight. We are always here for you after treatment.