What Is the Difference Between Chemo and Radiation?

Cancer is the last diagnosis that anyone wants to hear, but leaps and bounds have been made in its treatment in recent years. Here at Rosetta Radiology, we know that your diagnosis has led you to question treatment options. Most patients will be faced with chemotherapy (chemo), radiation, and surgical procedures to help manage their cancer. However, many patients we speak to are unaware that there is a difference between chemo and radiation.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy, also known as “chemo”, has been used for many years. The first documented use of chemotherapy— specifically a derivative of mustard gas— in the fight of a tumor was published in 1946. The patient suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and saw a reduction in the size of the patient’s tumors. Modern chemo drugs have evolved and taken on many forms in response to the knowledge we’ve gained about how they work in the body. There are many drugs to choose from now, and finding one that works for you may be a difficult process.

What Is Radiation?

When patients and medical staff talk about radiation within the scope of cancer, we are usually referring to “radiation therapy”. Radiation therapy is a completely different approach to managing and reducing cancerous masses that uses many of the same techniques and equipment you’ll find in imaging labs. Since cancer cells reproduce at much higher rates, they are more susceptible to damage from ionizing radiation. In fact, Rosetta Radiology can treat many types of cancer, from skin to pancreatic cancer.

How Are Chemotherapy and Radiation Different?

Since chemo and radiation have become so mainstream, non-affected families have begun to lump them together as one and the same. However, these two treatments couldn’t be more different; chemotherapy is generally an untargeted, visible drug that is applied to the whole body. It has been used with great success, but also comes with a long list of side effects. Radiation, meanwhile, is invisible to the eye, but its effects are massive. Many oncologists will suggest that you combine chemo and radiation together for the greatest effectiveness.

Cancer Treatment in Manhattan

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you likely have a fight ahead of you. You are strong enough and persevering enough to face this, and we are here to help. Here at Rosetta Radiology, we have the treatment options you need at a distance that’s easy to manage. Contact us today or schedule an appointment with one of our experts to discuss the next steps.