How does radiation therapy treat non-small cell lung cancer?

There are many uses of radiation therapy to treat non-small cell lung cancer. The most common way is for people who need treatment to receive daily doses of radiation for a period of time. For early stage lung cancer, someone might need as few as three treatments. For a person with more advanced disease, he or she might need as much as seven weeks of treatment. Radiation therapy is usually given as an outpatient.

Radiation therapy kills non-small cell lung cancer cells with beams of concentrated energy. X-rays are often used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be administered from outside your body, as external beam therapy. It can also be administered internally, through implants placed near your tumor. This is known as brachytherapy. Radiation therapy is often used in combination with other treatments to make them more effective.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.