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Bone Cancer Treatment and Radiation Therapy

Bone cancer radiation is a type of treatment which uses radiation to kill cancer cells which have stricken the bones including connective tissue and marrow. It can be a very effective way to help to treat this kind of cancer and is a very viable option when surgical techniques or chemotherapy may have more drawbacks. We will look at this type of treatment in greater detail, describe some expected results and discuss some side effects to be aware of. 

Radiation therapy or bone cancer radiation involves the use of a radioactive beam to be directed at the bone cancer cells.  This is called external radiation therapy.  A piece of equipment which can create the radioactive beam is set up to direct this beam to the affected area.  Bone cancer radiation may also be applied to cancer by injecting radioactive pellets into the bones close to the affected area.  It can help to focus the energy where needed to achieve maximum results and minimize the exposure of healthy tissue. 

In general radiation therapy is not the most effective form of treatment for bone cancer.  Most types of bone cancer are not affected greatly by the radiation.  However there are new techniques which can improve upon these results.  Bone cancer radiation can also be a very good option following surgery to help to destroy any remaining cancer cells which may have remained following the surgical removal of the tumor. 

It may also be used to help shrink cancerous tumors and make it easier and more effective to be removed surgically.  The smaller and more localized the cancer tumor can be, the better overall results which should be expected. 

Bone cancer radiation may also be a good option for treatment when the location of the bone cancer is not suitable for surgical procedures. 

And keep in mind that if the cancer has spread beyond the bones, this type of procedure may be desirable to help to control the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease rather than cure it.  The cancer may be too widespread to do so. 

Bone cancer radiation can certainly be a good treatment option.  And treatments normally occur over a period of time in order to limit the exposure of healthy tissue to varying degrees of radiation.  However the radiation can cause a number of side effects.  These generally go away once treatment has been completed. 

However it can affect the skin and make it appear sunburned and itchy.  Protecting it from the sun and using creams to soothe and protect may be a good way to help.  It may also cause some hair loss.  And the application of radiation can cause a good deal of nausea, diarrhea, sluggishness and fatigue.  It is just your body’s way of dealing with the battle which is going on inside to become free of the cancer. 

There are some new developments in bone cancer radiation which should help to direct higher dosages of radiation at the affected areas and minimize the exposure of normal healthy tissue.  This will improve the effectiveness of this kind of treatment and minimize the side effects.