cancer is a condition wherein the lungs cells multiply uncontrollably at an alarming rate. Lung cancer treatment is done in a combination with various methods like
surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and few more. The choice of the treatment depends upon the severity of the
cancer and the symptomatic condition of the patient. Radiation treatment is the oldest and a painless
treatment of lung cancer that has shown encouraging results.
The radiation therapy for lung cancer is classified into two types - external
beam radiation and internal beam radiation. In the external beam radiation the strong beam of X-rays are focussed over the affected area.
In case of internal beam radiation a plastic tube is inserted
into the body which forms the passage through which the radioactive materials are sent to the affected
Palliative radiation is a
form of treatment wherein the main focus is to reduce the pain for the patients. This is done only in the
last stage of the lung cancer wherein the chances of patient’s survival are very lean. Stereotactic radiation
treatment is yet another advanced treatment given preferably to elderly people where the high energy beams
are directed on the tumour growth. Another type of radiation
therapy for lung cancer patients is the proton radiation where a high beam rays are directed over tumour
cluster. One major advantage of radiation therapy over other forms of lung cancer treatment is absence of any invasive process.
Lung Cancer Radiation
The radiation therapy
involves passing of strong X-rays over the affected area in order to kill the cancerous cells. With the onset
of cancer in a person, the cancer cells start multiplying at an alarming rate. The malignancy level of cancer
cells makes it difficult to control their duplication. When the X-rays are bombarded on the cells, the DNA
gets completely disabled and fatal cells do not multiply further. The radiation therapy in lung cancer helps in nullifying the cancer cells and prevents their
The frequency of radiation therapy is daily for regular six weeks. Before the start of radiation therapy, patient
is given lasting ink marks over the cancerous patches in the lung, followed by radiation simulation. During this
process, patient is asked to lie still so that radiation therapist can direct the radioactive beam precisely. The
therapist will also determine the dosage of radiation that would be beamed during the treatment session.
As lung cancer radiation involves the passing of strong and powerful x rays
several side effects are felt by the patients. Apparently, the patients experience some short-term as well as
long-term side effects.
Reddening, darkening of
skin along with intense irritation
Hair loss in the chest
Shortness of breath along
with persistent dry cough
High degree of fatigue
Irritation and pain in
Esophagitis along with heartburn and lumpy sensation
(inflammation of lungs)
(formation of scar tissues in lungs)
(damaging of heart muscles)
Occurrence of secondary
cancers and leukaemia