Cancer Radiation Therapy
Treatment of cancer involves a combination of
therapy and chemotherapy. Of these, radiation therapy has
been a major cancer treatment for almost a century. With the advancement
of medical sciences, development in the radiation therapy has led to better survival of the cancer
patients. This treatment involves exposing the cancer-affected area to
strong radiation for burning them under high energy rays, making them scalded and
The usual procedure for cancer treatment involves two main steps: the
first one is the surgery that helps in the removal of the malignant tumour up to a larger extent; the second
step is the subjecting of patient to strong radiations that helps in killing of cancerous cells in the
affected area. In advanced stages of cancer, chemotherapy is also performed in conjunction with the radiation
Radiation Therapy Procedure
The medical practitioner providing radiation therapy is known as the radiation oncologist. X-rays, that are commonly used to get the image of
bones and teeth, are the main element for this therapy. Though not very
painful, the X-rays are of highly concentrates and powerful. They have the potency to kill the cancerous
cells that tend to multiply uncontrollably in the affected area. The area where the malignant tumour is
present is exposed to radiations in order to interrupt the cancerous growth to maximum extent. Radiation
prevents further growth of the cancerous cells and also cuts their proliferation
The radiation oncologists make use of two advanced therapies for
precise radiation. One is called the internal radio therapy wherein the source of radiation is directly
inserted into the affected area. Another type is the systematic radioisotope wherein the radioactive isotopes
are specifically hit upon the cancerous cells.
Furthermore, research and development is continually taking place in
the field of radiation therapy to give way to advanced cures and treatments in the near future.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects
One of the major side effects of the cancer radiation therapy is their propensity to affect the healthy cells also. When radiation is bombarded on
the cancer affected cells, they tend to seep in towards healthy cells, thus killing them in the bargain. As a
result of this the patient may experience nausea, excessive hair loss, fatigue, lethargy, reduced immune
system and skin infection. With medical advancement, there are now better technologies available that help in
beaming the radiation precisely over the cancerous cells only.
External beam therapy, also known as EBT, is one of the latest types
of external radiation therapy that delivers beams of high-energy X-rays to cancer-affected area only. These
beams are spawned outside the patient’s body thus sparing the surrounding healthy tissues. This sophisticated
technology keeps patient’s internal organs safe from radioactive sources. Use of the IMRT, CT and IGRT scan
also prevent exposure of the healthy tissue to radiations.
Despite the associated side effects, the radiation therapy has
a proven and verified success rate. This cancer treatment has the ability to extend the survival period of
the cancer patients, making them live comparatively longer.