Radiation Therapy For Cancer

Radiation Therapy For Cancer

Using ionized energy to kill cells, radiation therapy is used by half of all patients to treat cancer. Radiation kills cancer cells by damaging their genetic material beyond repair, causing them to breakdown and die. Both short- and long-term side effects, such as hair and memory loss, can occur when the therapy kills healthy cells. Different types of radiation exist. When a machine outside the body delivers it, it is called external-beam radiation therapy. If radioactive materials are placed inside the body, it is called internal radiation therapy, or brachytherapy. You can also receive an injection of radioactive iodine, which travels through the body to kill cancer cells, a treatment called systemic radiation therapy. When cancer cant be cured, radiation therapy can be used to shrink tumors to make life more comfortable for a patient. Doctors may use radiation treatments alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer cells.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered
    Radiation therapy can slow down or stop sperm cell production if the testicle is in or near the target area for the radiation. A lead shield can help protect the testicles during radiation aimed at a nearby organ such as the prostate.
    Total body irradiation used before some bone marrow transplants often causes permanent infertility.
    If the testicles get a mild dose of radiation, a man's fertility may drop but can then recover over the next one to four years. 
    If the radiation dose to the testicles is high, sperm production may stop forever. This happens because the spermatogonia are destroyed. These are the stem cells in the testicles that divide and grow to produce mature sperm.
    Radiation damage to the part of the brain that controls hormone production can sometimes prevent the hormone messages from getting to the testicles.
     
  • 3 Answers
    A
    A , Health Education, answered

    External beam therapy is a method for targeting and delivering a beam of high-energy X-rays to the location of the tumor. The radiation oncologist should use careful planning to protect the surrounding tissues.

    See All 3 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A Administration, answered on behalf of
    The primary benefit of GK: It is essentially a non-invasive treatment. It carries very low risk and usually no recovery time. People frequently go back to work the same day. And there are very few, if any, immediate side effects. The treatment is painless and highly effective. It has significantly reduced complications compared to open surgeries.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    What can I expect during radiation treatments for cancer?
    A patient can expect to be educated on their first visit for radiation treatment. In this video, Tamara Sutton, director of cancer services at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, describes the daily procedure during treatment. 
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A dosimetrist has extensive training in physics in addition to training in radiation therapy. Under the direction of the radiation oncologist, the dosimetrist is responsible for calculating the precise doses of radiation that you will be receiving.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered
    Volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a type of specialized intensity modulated radiation therapy. VMAT delivers radiation by rotating the radiation machine, through one or more arcs while radiation is continuously delivered.

    VMAT allows doctors to treat complex cancers while minimizing exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. VMAT shortens radiation delivery time and offers people with cancer more comfort because it does not require them to lie completely still for long periods of time.
  • 2 Answers
    A

    Yes, there are side effects to radiation. These may include hearing loss, dry mouth, and skin changes. Depending on the type of radiation given, it may also cause the thyroid to work improperly.

    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    During each external beam radiation therapy treatment:
    • You'll sit in a chair or lie on a table. A healthcare provider might use various pieces of equipment to help hold you in position for the treatment.
    • The radiation therapist will then go into the next room to control the machine. The therapist can see and hear you. The therapist can talk to you through a speaker.
    • You will see lights that show the therapist exactly where to point the radiation.
    • While the radiation beam is on, lie as still as possible. You don't have to hold your breath.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Radiation therapy is usually given on an outpatient basis. Most patients will feel well enough to drive themselves. If you are not feeling well, arrange for a family member, friend, or neighbor to drive you.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Radiation Oncology, answered on behalf of
    A multileaf collimator is used to shape the beams of radiation to the individual tumors. The multileaf collimator is in the head of the radiation machine, and they are like fingerlike projections which can move throughout the treatment to shape to the tumor. In that way, the dose is delivered precisely while sparing normal structures in the brain.