Every year, over 100,000 new cases of cancer are reported in Australia. Multiple forms of cancer treatment exist today. A patient may require one or a combination of different therapies to become completely cancer-free.
Radiotherapy or Radiation Therapy is a commonly used method of cancer treatment. Radiotherapy uses high-energy radiation to curb the growth of cancer cells and to destroy them.
Different forms of radiation therapies can treat different cancer types. To learn everything about the role of radiation therapy in treating various conditions of cancer, browse a website like targetingcancer.com.au.
Radiation therapy is a preferred treatment choice. It may be used as a standalone form of treatment or combined with other treatment methods.
Benefits of Radiation Therapy
- Localized Treatment and Lesser damage
Unlike chemotherapy, radiation therapy is a localized treatment. It implies that exposure to cancer-fighting drugs is minimal.
High energy rays like x-rays or gamma rays are directed towards the affected part. The radiation breaks into the DNA of the cancer cells and destroys them. Unaffected parts of the body may sometimes be exposed to heavy radiation. It is, however, very minimal, and the healthy cells can repair themselves.
The side effects of radiation therapy are fewer than in chemotherapy.
- Less Stressful
Patients can proceed with their daily routine while taking radiotherapy. There is no stress of staying alone in the hospital, being exposed to other infections, or dealing with the aftermath of the treatment in isolation.
Each radiation therapy session lasts for about an hour. Most of this time is spent on positioning the patient appropriately. The actual time of radiation exposure is only about 30 minutes.
- Effective Control Over Symptoms
Radiation therapy can be used to reduce the size of tumours in advanced cancer forms. This type of treatment is called palliative radiation. The treatment is commonly used to mitigate pain, excessive bleeding, obstructive symptoms, and neurological symptoms.
Multiple Ways of Using Radiotherapy for Cancer Patients
- For some cancers, experts perform radiation therapy to shrink the tumour before the surgery is performed. This type of treatment is called pre-operative therapy.
- Radiotherapy can be used after surgery to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are destroyed and cancer does not recur. This treatment is called adjuvant therapy.
- Radiotherapy can be used to prevent certain forms of cancers. For instance, patients who have recovered from certain types of lung cancer are subjected to radiotherapy in their cerebral area. The aim is to prevent the potential spread of cancer to the head.
- Radiotherapy can be used to treat cancer tumours that have recurred. The dosage of treatment depends upon the treatment method adopted previously and the impact of radiation for that cancer type.
- Brachytherapy refers to a form of radiation therapy in which a small amount of radioactive material is injected into the patient’s body. The radioactive material travels through your body and finally collects around the tumour. The effect of the foreign substance on the body is minimal. Cancers of the breast, cervix, prostate, and eye can be treated using this method.
- Chemoradiotherapy is the use of radiation therapy combined with anti-cancer drugs. Radiosensitizer drugs help the cancer cells to respond better to radiotherapy. The results of the treatment are better than administering any one single form of treatment alone.
- Radiation therapy can be used during the surgery. It allows the high-energy radiation to affect the tumour without passing through the skin directly.
Radiation therapy is a pretty safe treatment option with minimal side effects. However, certain precautions need to be followed during the treatment. Obtain a clearer picture of radiation therapy and its impact on patients to have a better idea about the therapy.