Radiation therapy is a very popular cancer treatment. Radiation therapy can also be called radiotherapy, radiation, and x-ray therapy.
Radiation treatment uses gamma, electron beams, and protons to kill cancer cells.
Your cells can divide and grow. Cancer cells multiply faster than normal cells. Radiation damages cell DNA. These fractures prevent cancer cells from growing and can even kill them. Radiation can cause damage to nearby cells, but most of these cells recover and continue functioning normally.
Radiation therapy is generally an intravenous or oral treatment. Radiation therapy focuses on the area of concern and does not treat other areas. Radiation therapy is designed to destroy cancer cells and preserve healthy cells.
Radiation therapy can be administered intravenously or by mouth. Radiation travels throughout the body, but the radioactive material is concentrated in the tumor. The rest of the body remains unaffected.
Who Gets Radiation?
Radiation therapy is the most common treatment for cancer patients. Radiation therapy can be done alone or in combination with other cancer treatments. Radiation therapy depends on the type, stage, and other health concerns.
Radiation Treatment Goals
Radiation therapies are not able to treat cancer spread throughout the body. They don’t reach every area. Radiation therapy can be used alone or combined to treat multiple cancers. Radiation therapy is often used for the following reasons. However, each person and cancer is unique.
Prevent Cancer From Returning
Cancer can spread. Doctors believe that some cancer cells may have spread even though scans such as CT and MRI show no evidence of them. Radiation can destroy cancer cells and make them less likely to spread. Radiation may be given to the head for certain types of lung cancer that travel to the brain. This helps prevent head cancer from developing. It is possible to simultaneously deliver radiation to treat and prevent cancer, particularly if it spreads nearby.
Advanced Cancer Symptoms
Cancer can become incurable. These tumors may be shrinkable and treated to make the patient feel better. Advanced cancer can lead to discomfort, breathing problems, and intestinal obstructions. Radiation therapy may be an option—radiation therapy for palliative conditions.
Radiation Therapy–How Do You Do It?
Three methods of radiation treatment are available:
- External Radiation: A machine emits high-energy radiation from the outside into the tumor. Outpatient visits to a hospital or treatment facility. This is often done twice daily for several weeks. Radiation from the outside does not render a person radioactive.
- Brach therapy Refers To Internal Radiation. It was radioactively injecting the tumor. The body may remain exposed to radiation for brachytherapy. It can be implanted or withdrawn. The type of cancer determines this. These radiations require temporary safeguards. Important to remember that internal radiation can become non-radioactive over time.
- Radiation Systemic: Certain cancers can be treated with intravenous or oral radioactive drugs. The drugs then circulate. Extra precautions may be required for these medications.
The cancer type and whereabouts determine radiation type. Many people use multiple types. You can ask your cancer care team about the radiation type, its effects, and precautions.
Who Is Responsible For Administering Radiation?
A team of specialists administers radiation therapy. You may have:
- Radiation Oncologists are radiation-based cancer specialists. This person manages radiation treatment.
- Radiation Physicist – This person ensures that the radiation equipment is working properly and delivers the radiation dose as ordered by your radiation oncologist.
- Dosimetrist: Helps radiation oncologists plan treatment.
- Radiation Technologist Or Radiation Therapist: They place you and operate the radiation equipment.
- Radiation Therapy Nurse: This radiation-trained nurse can advise you about radiation treatment and possible adverse effects.
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