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3D Conformal Radiation Therapy Definition

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Updated March 19, 2010

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy (3DCRT) is a sophisticated type of external beam radiation treatment. Computers calculate a three-dimensional virtual model of your tumor or tumor cavity. The information from that virtual model is then used to plan your radiation treatments.

During 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy, multiple beams of radiation will conform to your tumor's size and shape, limiting exposure to nearby tissue and organs. 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy is designed to give a high dose of radiation to a very targeted area while limiting side effects to healthy tissues.

Also Known As: 3D conformal beam radiation therapy (3DCBRT), conformational radiation therapy, 3D external beam radiation therapy (3DEBRT, 3DXBRT), 3D external radiation therapy (3DXRT), conformal external beam radiation therapy (CEBRT), 3D radiation therapy (3DRT)
Examples:
After my lumpectomy, I did not qualify for brachytherapy, so my radiation oncologist used 3D Conformal Radiation Therapy to design treatments that targeted my surgery site and left my healthy tissues alone. The conformal radiation was shaped to treat my tumor and avoid my heart and lungs.
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