How Effective is Radiation Therapy for Cancer?
Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a very effective cancer treatment for cancer patients. Moreover, this treatment alone or when combined with other therapies, can cure many cancer problems. Also, it relieves people from severe symptoms of advanced cancer. Radiation therapy spots the cancer cell in the body and controls it. Thus, it is a highly targeted treatment. This system ensures killing all the cancer cells while protecting the other organs and tissue from any damage.
Why radiation therapy?
The doctor uses radiation therapy for curing cancer in almost every category of cancer. Radiation also helps to cure benign tumors. Hence, nearly half of the people with cancer go through the process as part of their cancer treatment. The doctor recommends radiation therapy for the following reasons:
- They are helpful for the primary treatment of cancer.
- Before surgery, radiation therapy helps to shrink the cancerous tumor (neoadjuvant therapy).
- After surgery, to prevent the growth of any more cancer cells (adjuvant therapy).
- Combine it with other treatments to kill cancer cells, generally chemotherapy.
- Use it in advanced cancer cases to relieve symptoms causing cancer.
There are two primary types of radiation therapy; they are internal and external beam. However, which treatment you will get depends on the following factor:
- The tumor size.
- The category of the cancer cell.
- The location of the tumor.
- Your current health condition and also your family medical history.
- How near is cancer from the normal tissue, which can get damaged during the process?
- Whether you will get the therapy with any other cancer treatment.
- Your age and other medical factors.
Internal Beam Radiation Therapy
Internal radiation therapy involves putting the radiation inside your body. The mode of radiation can be liquid or solid.
Moreover, if the therapy is in a solid source, it is known as brachytherapy. Different mediums like ribbons, seeds, or capsules containing radiation pass through your tumor area to kill the cancer cells. Internal beam radiation therapy or brachytherapy is a local treatment and only treats the body’s targeted area or spot.
However, therapy with a liquid source is known as systematic therapy. In the treatment, the fluid travels through your blood to the entire body seeking and killing every cancer cell. The doctor inserts the radiation in your body through your vein, injection, or you can even swallow it.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
In this therapy, a beam passes from a machine and aims radiation on the cancerous part of your body. Generally, the device is large and may be noisy. However, the machine does not touch you but can rotate around you since it sends radiation from all directions.
External beam radiation therapy, just like internal, is a local treatment. Thus, this too treats only a particular part of the body that contains cancer.
New technologies for treating cancer have made life better. Moreover, the treatment is a lot better, quicker, and useful than before. So, you can rely on them if your doctor suggests them.