All You Need To Know About Radiation Therapy For Cancer
Radiation therapy for cancer treatment destroys the cancerous cells while saving the healthy cells around it by using high-energy particles.
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Cancer is acknowledged to be a worldwide menace that has impacted life negatively. However, there has been little progress in developing a preventive mechanism against the disease. Hence, curbing cancer is dependent on the efficacy of medical treatment.
This will include treatments like chemotherapy, surgical procedures, and targeted medical therapy, to name a few. In the following article, we will talk about radiation therapy for cancer treatment and the facts associated with it.
What Is Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy for cancer treatment destroys the cancerous cells while saving the healthy cells around it by using high-energy particles and waves like:
Radiation therapy is location-specific, i.e., it is directed to a specific location that is affected by cancerous cells. It is better to book appointments with a reputed oncologist if you are looking for radiation therapy as an option for cancer treatment.
Who Should Get Radiation Therapy?
General statistics suggest that more than half of cancer patients are recommended radiation treatment. Also, radiation therapy is seldom used as a lone treatment procedure as it is generally combined with other treatments like chemotherapy and surgery.
Goals Of Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is used to reach the following goals in cancer treatment:
1. To Destroy The Cancer Cells In Early Stages
Certain cancerous cells are quite sensitive to radiation, and radiation therapy serves a good purpose in getting rid of them while they are still in the early stages. The procedure is also known as neoadjuvant therapy or pre-operative therapy. Along with radiation therapy, radiosensitizer drugs are also given to enhance its effect.
2. To Stop Recurrence/Relapse
Cancer cells are difficult to get permanently rid of, and there’s a high risk of them resurfacing after being eliminated surgically. Also, they often spread to the other parts of the body, and it becomes difficult to curb their spread at an advancing stage. However, radiation therapy for cancer is highly useful in stopping cancer cells from coming back.
3. For Treatment Of Advanced-Stage Cancer
Radiation not only helps in getting rid of cancerous cells but is also useful in relieving symptoms like pain, headache, breathing, and swallowing problems, among others. Radiation given for curbing cancer symptoms is known as palliative radiation.
How Is Radiation Therapy Executed?
Radiation therapy is imparted to cancer patients in the following three ways:
1. External Beam Radiation
As the name suggests, the external beam radiation therapy for cancer is given using a machine that radiates high-energy beams from outside directly to the tumour. External radiation is given during a pre-decided hospital appointment and is given periodically. The best thing about external radiation is that the patient can go ahead with living their regular life, and they don’t have to follow specific precautions at home.
2. Internal Radiation
In brachytherapy or internal radiation, the small radiation machine is put inside the body in proximity to the tumour. They can also be left into the body for some time and allowed to do their work. The process is decided based on the cancer type. Specific safety precautions are required to be followed during brachytherapy.
3. Systemic Radiation
In systemic radiation therapy, radioactive drugs are either given orally, or they are injected directly into the veins.
Radiation therapy remains among the most preferred and effective procedures of cancer treatment. Also, they are widely available in reputed cancer treatment hospitals of India, like RGCIRC, Delhi.
Due to these innovative methods, which are the result of dedicated research in the field of cancer treatment, there has been a gradual decrease in the mortality rate due to cancer, and more people are able to live a normal life after fighting cancer.