When it comes to treating most types of cancer, radiation therapy is used in more than half of cancer patients as a recommended form of treatment. Radiation therapy can be used on its own or in conjunction with other forms of cancer treatment such as chemotherapy. Below, we will discuss everything you need to know about radiation therapy.
Radiation therapy is a common form of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells by destroying the DNA. Radiation therapy most often uses X-rays, however other types of energy also can be used.
How does radiation therapy work?
Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by destroying the substance that helps grow and divide, as cancer cells divide and replicate too quickly. radiation therapy can destroy both healthy and cancerous cells, however it aims avoid killing healthy cells if possible. Oftentimes normal cells can repair and regenerate after radiation therapy.
Who is a candidate for radiation therapy?
As mentioned above, around 50% of the number of people diagnosed with cancer will likely receive some form of radiation therapy as part of their treatment plan. Radiation therapy can be used to treat nearly every type of cancer and has also been shown to treat and shrink benign tumors. Radiation therapy can be used as:
- The primary treatment for cancer
- To shrink a cancerous tumor
- To hinder continued growth of remaining cancer cells after another treatment
- Combined with chemotherapy
- To assist with uncomfortable or painful symptoms in advanced-stage cancer
External beam radiation therapy—also called teletherapy—is the most common type of radiation therapy. In this type of radiation, high-energy beams from a machine are focused at specific areas of the body. Common types of External Radiation Therapy include:
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT). Intensity modulated radiation therapy, or IMRT, is a specialized form of radiation therapy that allows radiation to be molded to cover the tumor, allowing your doctor to spare additional healthy tissue. With IMRT, the radiation beam can be tailored to the tumor and the individual. IMRT technique can also reduce the amount of radiation the healthy tissue near the tumor is exposed to.
- Stereotactic Radiation Therapy: Stereotactic radiotherapy is a method of external beam radiation employs very focused beams of radiation to destroy certain types of tumors using higher doses than regular daily radiation. This is most often used for the lung, spine or liver.
Internal radiation therapy is a treatment in which a source of radiation that can be liquid or solid is actually placed inside the body to kill cancerous cells. Brachytherapy refers to Internal radiation therapy with a solid source. In this procedure, a solid type of treatment containing a radiation source is placed in your body near the tumor.
Radiation therapy is a proven method for killing cancer cells and putting more people into remission. If you have cancer and are looking for a reputable place to receive radiation therapy in New York, make a consultation appointment with Rosetta Radiology today!