Cancerous tumors are caused by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells in the body. Radiation therapy is a specific treatment that uses particle beams of energy to treat cancerous tumors. This article will give a simple explanation of how radiation therapy works against cancer from a multispeciality hospital in Coimbatore and how it works.
It’s by nature, the last option for cancer patients. But you have to know that radiation therapy is still the best method for cancer treatment in today’s world. Let me explain the basics of how radiation therapy works against cancer.
How radiation therapy treats cancer?
A variety of cancers can be treated effectively with radiation therapy. It can be used on its own or in combination with chemotherapy and surgery. Many people with cancer get radiation therapy during or after other types of treatment.
The benefits of radiation therapy for treating cancer include:
High cure rates. Radiation can often cure early-stage cancers that are localized — meaning they have not spread from the place where they started.
A highly targeted approach. Unlike chemotherapy, which can affect all fast-growing cells throughout your body, radiation only affects the area being treated. This means it causes fewer side effects than chemotherapy does.
Low risk for side effects. Most people who get radiation therapy don’t experience serious side effects.
Radiation therapy safety
Radiation therapy safety is of primary concern when treating cancer patients. However, the treatment may not be as risky as you think.
In fact, radiation therapy can be used safely and effectively to treat cancer and relieve symptoms.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says that radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It’s often used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells or slow their growth by damaging their DNA. The goal of radiation therapy is to shrink tumors and kill malignant cells while limiting harm to surrounding healthy tissue.
Radiation therapy can be delivered in one of three main ways: external beam radiation, internal radiation, or systemic radiation.
Side effects of radiation therapy for cancer
The side effects of radiation therapy depend on the type of cancer and the part of the body being treated. Most side effects do not last long and disappear after treatment is over. Side effects are usually more severe with higher doses of radiation.
If you have any worrying symptoms or side effects, tell your cancer specialist or radiographer as soon as possible. They can treat or control many side effects or change your treatment.
Side effects may include:
- Skin changes – such as redness, soreness, dryness, and peeling
- Fatigue or tiredness – this may develop a few weeks into treatment but should improve when it ends
- Hair loss in the area being treated – this may be temporary or permanent; if the scalp is being treated, you may lose all your hair, including your eyebrows and eyelashes
- Nausea – this can be caused by very high doses of radiation given to the stomach area and should get better once treatment has stopped
- Diarrhea – this can usually be controlled by following a special diet
- Mouth Problems – such as dry mouth, ulcers (sores), and tooth decay; your dentist can advise ways to manage these problems
The Truth about Radiation Therapy
The reason that cancer treatment with radiation is not used as frequently as other treatments are because the tumors are so deeply seated in the body. The patient has to go through a long and highly unpleasant course of treatment, which can often cause serious side effects. That said, radiation therapy for cancer has come a long way over the past few years.
Instead of being confined to just one type of cancer or even just one tumor, it is now clear that there are many types of tumors that respond well to radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy can be a useful tool in the treatment of cancer
Radiation therapy works in two ways. Firstly, it damages the DNA in tumor cells making these cells unable to divide and spread to other parts of the body. Secondly, radiation therapy may cause healthy cells to die leading to the generalized killing of normal tissue (termed radiation irritation).
When you can use radiation therapy to treat cancer cells and reduce or eliminate their ability to grow and divide, it’s the best way to take cancer out of the body completely.
Understanding more about radiation therapy can help you feel more prepared to talk with your doctor about it.