Radiation therapy is one of several treatments used to treat cancer by itself or in combination with other forms of treatment, most often surgery or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is also called radiotherapy.
You've probably seen an X-ray of your teeth or some other part of your body. At high doses - many times greater than those used for X-ray exams - radiation can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. More than half of all cancer patients receive some radiation therapy as part of their treatment.
Radiation is given either externally, through external beam radiation, or increasingly through internal radiation, also called brachytherapy. New research is focusing using special cells within the body (called monoclonal antibodies) to deliver radiation therapy directly to the cancer site.
External Radiation Therapy
External beam therapy is administered just like a normal X-ray. The radiation used for external beam radiation treatments comes from special machines, such as linear accelerators,
Two of the more common types of radiation used include
Internal Radiation Therapy Or Brachytherapy
Internal radiation therapy involves placing
- Within the
tumorwithin a body cavity such as the abdomen, called intracavitary
- Directly into the cancerous area, called interstitial
- By mouth or by injection
Nice To Know:
A highly qualified team of professionals will plan, perform, and supervise your treatments. Specialists in radiation therapy will be available to answer your questions at every stage.
If you have questions about treatments, it's better to talk to a health professional familiar with your care, rather than a friend or family member who had a similar type of cancer. Your doctor, nurse, or radiographer welcome any and all questions you may have relating to treatment.
What Is Cancer?
"Cancer" is the name for a group of diseases in which the cells from organs or tissues grow out of control. This growth can form a mass or tumor, which can displace normal cells. A tumor can spread to surrounding tissues or organs. This happens when tiny cells break off and travel throughout the body via the blood or lymph system and begin growing in new locations.
Not all tumors are cancerous. Benign tumors grow very slowly and pose little threat to a person's health.
Facts About Radiation Therapy