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How is radiation therapy used in oncology?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Oncology uses radiation therapy to kill cancerous cells with X-rays or another type of radiation. Radiation therapy destroys cellular DNA, which prevents cancerous cells from growing or reproducing. Most of the time, radiation therapy is administered externally, with the help of a machine that produces radioactive rays. Sometimes, oncologists might implant radioactive materials into your body, where they can have the most effect on the cancerous cells. These radioactive substances are left in place for a brief period and are later removed. Oncologists typically take steps to protect healthy cells from exposure to radiation, though normal cells are typically able to recover from the effects of radiation therapy.

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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.