Radiation Therapy As A Part Of Cancer Care – Here’s How it Works

Understanding Radiation Therapy

  • Radiation therapy is the application of gamma rays, x-rays, protons, and electron beams of high-energy so as to stop the multiplication and growth of cancerous cells. The high-energy radiation either kills or damages the cancer cells, hence preventing them from spreading. During radiation, the cancerous cells are more prone to get destroyed than the healthy ones. The healthy cells are better at recuperating from the radiation exposure.
  • This Therapy is considered effective in treating many kinds of cancer. It is widely used as a part of the cancer treatment process to cure cancer in cases where it is curable. In other acute cases, where the cancer cannot be eradicated, radiation therapy is used to relieve the pain of patients.
  • The radiation oncology team is a team of specialists. They include doctors (radiation oncologists), radiation oncology medical physicists and radiation therapists who provide advanced and safe treatment to the cancer patients by controlled and efficient use of radiation. The radiation therapy is different for each cancer patient.

Different names – Radiation therapy is also referred to as:

  • Radiotherapy
  • X-ray therapy
  • Irradiation
  • Radiation treatment

Need of radiation therapy – Radiation therapy may be given in the following cases:

  • In order to irradicate or shrink cancer cells when the disease is in an early stage. This will stop it from spreading too.
  • To treat cancer if it re-occurs or resurfaces after being cured previously.
  • To treat the cancer that might have returned in some other place in the body.
  • In case of advance-stage cancer it helps the patient by relieving the pain, bowel blockages, and breathing or swallowing problems.

Procedure – The radiation therapy involves certain procedures.

  • After the deciding on opting for radiation therapy, the first stage is that of planning.
  • The patient goes through scanning on a special CT scanner.
  • The doctor (radiation oncologist) marks the area that has to be treated, the areas that are to be avoided and the tumor.
  • The radiation plan is then developed and checked by the radiation oncology team.
  • The plan then goes through safety and quality checks.
  • Following the above, the radiation treatment starts. The radiation treatment is given on the specific parts, by the radiation therapist.
  • Alongside, the whole radiation oncology team, dietitians and nurses take care and manage the side effects faced by the patient due to the radiation treatment.

Technique – Radiation therapy is given in mainly three ways:

  • External beam radiation
  • Brachytherapy or Internal radiation
  • Systemic radiation.

If your doctor has recommended radiation therapy, you might benefit by the services offered by ‘The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists’. You can check their website – ‘ https://targetingcancer.com.au/ ‘. If you click here, you can get all the necessary details and get in touch with them for assistance.

Radiation therapy as we know has successfully treated many cancer patients. Staying positive and taking the right remedial step is the key to any illness and difficulty that comes your way.