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Cancer Radiation Therapy   

Treatment of cancer involves a combination of surgery, radiation 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 ineffective. 

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 therapy.  

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 rate. 

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.