Radiation Therapy is a medical procedure which is mainly utilized for the treatment of the cancer cases. In the recent times, it is also used for the other conditions like thyroid as well as noncancerous conditions. It is an advanced technique which has helped doctors to treat cancer patients appreciably.
How does radiation therapy work?
– The functioning of the Radiation therapy is a complex one.
In simpler terms, radiation therapy uses the radiations to kill the cancer cells effectively. It prevents the growth and development of the cancer cells. This therapy also stops the progression of the cancer cells into the mature ones. For improved results, radiation therapy is combined along with the chemotherapy which leads to the better results for the patients under treatment.
What are the types of the Radiation Therapy?
In the modern times, with the advancements in medical technology, there are two types of radiation therapy. Both these types, serve their purpose for the treatment of the cancer cases.
– External radiation therapy: This is one of the most commonly implemented procedures in the field of the Radiation therapy. It utilizes the radiations from outside the body of the patients. External radiation therapy has evolved to different types in the recent years.
3D conformal radiation therapy: This 3D based radiation therapy is successful in treating patients with various cases of cancer. The results of this type of radiation therapy yield the desired results to an appreciable extent. With the help of its three-dimensional effect, the cancerous cells are killed from different directions.Here, the healthy cells are much less affected than the other types of radiation therapy.
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT): Here imaging scans are done before the commencement of the treatment. It helps the oncologist to focus the radiation as required which targets only the tumor cells and not the healthy cells.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy: This type of the external radiation therapy is useful in targeting the specific parts of the tumor to treat it successfully. It reduces the damage caused to the tissues present nearby the cancerous cells.
– Internal radiation therapy: In the internal type of radiation therapy, the radiation source is placed in front of the cancerous cells. It makes the high energy radiations reach the cancerous cells with more significant effect. One of the commonly used therapies are the procedures like brachytherapy. The internal radiation therapy is applied to a lesser extent a compared to the external type.
How much time does external radiation therapy take?
-External radiation therapy requires the patient to take radiation therapy appointments for 5-8 weeks. Every week the patients need to get the therapy done for at least 4-5 days every week. According to the case of the patient, the time of the radiation therapy varies to a great extent.
One of the best features of the radiation therapy is that the doses of the radiation therapy are given in segments.
The dose of the radiation as well as treatments in the radiation therapy is based on:
-Types of cancer
-Size and location of the tumor
-Any other ongoing treatments
One of the important points which you need to remember is that the radiation therapy affects the cancerous cells of the body only for few seconds. As there is no radiation source present in the body, the patient’s body will not be affected once the radiation is taken off from the contact of the body.
What happens during each radiation therapy appointment?
-The treatment of radiation therapy occurs in every scheduled appointment. It is painless. It takes only a few minutes for the actual radiation step to occur. But, in total it takes about 15-30 minutes for completing the entire procedure successfully.
-The radiation exposure is done in an isolated room to prevent exposure to any other individual except the patient himself.
-The radiation therapist monitors the patients on a screen and accordingly progresses with the treatment. A radiation-emitting machine is present in the respective room.
-It is necessary that the patient keeps his doubts clarified with the radiation therapist.
Thus, you can see that radiation therapy has got a series of aspects which are utilized to an appreciable extent for treating patients with different medical conditions successfully.