Which Cancers Are Best Treated by Radiation Therapy?

Radiation is one of the more difficult treatments to go through, and chemotherapy might even be worse. However, when you’re battling an extreme illness like cancer, extreme treatments are required. Luckily, you have three good options (radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgical removal) at your disposal一 your oncologist might even combine them for a more aggressive treatment plan. Here at Rosetta Radiology, we specialize in radiology services, including radiation therapy.

What Is Radiation Therapy?

Also known as radiation oncology, radiation therapy uses radioactive emissions and beams them at a target location一 wherever your cancer resides. Treatments usually last a few weeks, and you’ll have to make daily trips to your radiology office to receive them.

Radiation Therapy Side Effects

As you begin to consider your different treatment options, it’s important to remember to weigh each treatment plan’s risks and benefits. The goal is to aggressively kill and remove your tumor so that it can’t spread to the rest of your body. This may be a difficult process, but it could save your life. There are significant side effects to radiation therapy, so discuss these with your doctor and decide what is right for you.

What Cancers Does Radiation Therapy Treat?

1 – Viral Cancers

Interestingly enough, viral cancers (like those caused by HPV and the Epstein-Barr virus) are much more effectively treated by radiation than other types of cancer. For example, if you have HPV-derived cervical or oral cancer, your oncologist will likely recommend treatment that relies mainly on radiotherapy.

2 – Cancers That Are Being Surgically Removed

With this technique, also called intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), any cancer site that has been surgically operated on can receive radiation. Sometimes, oncologists will recommend that the site receive external radiation rather than IORT. The type of radiation you receive will depend on your tumor, the excision, and what tools your radiologist has available.

3 – Any Cancer That Your Surgeon Wants to Shrink

Neoadjuvant treatment can be highly effective in shrinking tumors; this can help your surgeon remove the mass more easily. With this method, radiation is applied externally, and your cancerous mass is specifically targeted. After your surgeon sees significant shrinkage in the following scans, he will book you for surgical excision.

4 – Breast Cancer

It’s incredibly simple to scan and target a cancerous mass in the breasts without causing peripheral damage to the surrounding tissue. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Radiation therapy is [also] an effective way to reduce your risk of breast cancer recurring after surgery. In addition, it is commonly used to ease the symptoms caused by cancer that has spread to other parts of the body…”

5 – Lung Cancer

While some types of lung cancer are moderately resistant to radiation, small cell lung cancer is the type that responds best to radiotherapy. Generally, any cancer that spreads quickly will respond well to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. You and your doctor will work together to develop a treatment plan that works for you.

Radiation Oncology in Manhattan

Have you recently been diagnosed with breast, lung, or another type of cancer? Does your surgeon want to shrink your tumor prior to surgery? There are many different reasons you might need radiology services, even beyond radiation oncology. If you’re looking for a radiology office near you, contact our specialists at Rosetta Radiology, right here in Manhattan.