Radiation Treatment and Cancer Cure

Radiation therapy uses various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and some other diseases

Radiation therapy is one the most critical component of cancer treatment used either as standalone modality or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy.

Q. What is Radiation therapy? How does it Work?

Radiation therapy uses various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and some other diseases. Radiation is used to cure cancer, to control the growth of the cancer or to relieve symptoms, like pain. It works by damaging DNA of the tumor cells.

Q. Is Radiation therapy safe?

Radiation has been used successfully for more than 100 years. Modern era Radiotherapy machines are technologically highly advanced and are capable of delivering treatment safely. More so, Modern Radiation techniques such as IMRT, IGRT, VMAT, SRS and SBRT are capable of killing cancer cells while minimizing side effects.

Q. How is Radiation therapy treatment given?

Radiation therapy can be delivered in two ways. Most common method is External beam Radiation where treatment is done by machines like Linear Accelerators, Tomotherapy and Cycbe-Knife producing high energy x ray. The other method is called as brachytherapy in which tiny millimeter size radioactive sources are placed in natural body cavity like windpipe (Bronchi), foodpipe (esophagus) anal canal, cervix and vagina. These sources can also be placed directly into the tissues during surgery. For eg. In cancers of head and neck, soft tissue tumors (sarcomas).

Q. Do patients lose their hair during Radiotherapy?

Hair loss occurs in the area/location that is being treated with radiation therapy. For instance if the area being treated is brain, you can expect hair fall during treatment. Also this hair loss is rarely permanent. 

Q. Can I continue my regular/routine activities while undergoing Radiation treatment?

Most patients continue full-time occupations or leisure activities during treatment. When you feel tired, avoid exerting yourself; take rest when needed. It is suggested to plenty of sleep and maintain healthy diet.

Q. Is Radiation therapy painful? 

No, external beam radiation is painless, just like taking an x-ray.

Q. Do patients become radioactive during the treatment?

No, patients can continue to enjoy the contact with family and friends without fear of radiation exposure. If you are hospitalized for internal radiation treatment, you will stay in a protected room until the source of radiation is removed.

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