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Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (Radiotherapy) involves the destruction of cancer cells by exposing the tumor to therapeutic subatomic particles or electromagnetic waves called ionizing radiation. Unlike chemotherapy, radiation therapy is a local treatment of cancer; it only affects the tumor and the area close to it. Radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with other therapies such as hormone therapy, surgical therapy and/or chemotherapy.   

Indications of radiotherapy vary depending on the type of cancer being treated, the location and stage of the tumor. Your age and health status can also play a role in the measurement and calculation of dose for the treatment (dosimetry). However, regardless the dosage indicated, radiation therapy is less apt to complications and development of side effects than chemotherapy and certain cancer surgeries.

Because the sessions are short, the majority of radiation therapy is performed without hospitalization. You can receive the treatment in a clinic, hospital, regional hospital, university or in a radiotherapy center.  Radiation therapy is used to to treat a variety of cancers: prostate cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and the list goes on... 

Radiation therapy may provide good results in the fight against cancer (please see cancereffects.com for more info). Associated with surgery, it can lead to a complete cure of some cancers. In fact, nearly 60% of cancer patients are treated with radiotherapy alone or combined with other treatments. However, certain cancers such as colorectal cancers and soft tissue cancers do not respond well to radiotherapy. In addition, advanced metastatic cancers are not successfully treated with radiotherapy either.