How does radiation therapy help treat cancer

Did you know that radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer? It uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays, to kill cancer cells. It is a very effective treatment for many types of cancer, and it can be used alone or in association with other therapies, such as surgery or chemotherapy. 

Keep reading to learn more about it.

The Rise of Radiation Therapy

The Radiation therapy process has been used to treat cancer for over 100 years. In the early 1900s, doctors began using X-rays to cure it. This breakthrough in such treatment allowed doctors to target the tumour without harming healthy tissue. Today, there are many types of radiation surgery, and each type uses different methods to target the cells.

It can cure many types of cancer, including breast, lung, and more. In order to be effective, the radiation must be targeted at the affected area cells. This means that healthy cells in the area will also be exposed to it. However, healthy cells can repair themselves, while cancer cells cannot. This is why this therapy is so effective at killing these treatment cells.

How Does the Process Work?

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. The beams come from a large machine outside the body and are carefully aimed at it. They can come from a linear accelerator or a radioactive isotope machine.

Patients lie on a table while the machine moves around them during the process. The device gives off very little heat or noise, and most patients feel nothing. The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes.

It can be the only cure for some cancers, such as early-stage prostate cancer. Combined with other treatments, it can help control the disease, shrink tumours, and relieve symptoms. It can also be used to prepare for a stem cell transplant.

Types of Radiation Therapy:

External Beam Therapy (EBRT)

The machine that produces the radiation is outside the body and points the beams at cancerous areas.

-It can be given as part of the treatment for prostate, bladder, cervical, endometrial, ovarian, vulvar, and vaginal cancer.

-It can also be used to cure Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

-It may be given as the only process or combined with internal beam therapy, surgery, or chemotherapy.

-It is usually given in a series of methods over several weeks.

-Common side effects include fatigue, skin reactions, and gastrointestinal problems.

Internal Beam Therapy (Brachytherapy)

The machine that produces the radiation is inside the body.

-A thin tube is inserted into the body through the vagina or rectum. The beam source is placed inside the tube and directed at the affected area.

-Brachytherapy can be given as a single treatment or in combination with external beam therapy.

-It is usually given in one or two treatments.

-Common side effects include fatigue, skin reactions, and gastrointestinal problems.


The radiation process can have different side effects depending on the type of cancer being treated, the location, the dose, and the person’s overall health. The most common side effects are:

Fatigue:

-Feeling tired all the time

-Needing to nap during the day

-Difficulty concentrating

Skin reactions:

-Red, dry, or peeling skin in the treatment area

-Rash or itching in the treatment area

Gastrointestinal problems:

-Diarrhea

-Nausea and vomiting

-Loss of appetite

Many experts are involved in planning radiation therapy. The team may include:

  • A Radiation Oncologist (a doctor specialising in treating cancer with radiation).
  • A medical physicist.
  • A therapist.
  • Other health care professionals.

So, you can consult with a professional team to get the best cure.

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