Radiation Therapy in Cancer Treatment (Radiation Oncology)

Posted On Nov 09, 2022

Cancer care hospital in Vijaayawada

Radiation therapy is a type of treatment predominantly used in cancer treatment. It is one of the modalities apart from surgery and chemotherapy, in cancer management. High-energy x-rays or other particles are used in radiation therapy to either kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used, depending on the site and stage of cancer and other factors:

  • Individuals who are unable to undergo surgery or have small tumors can receive treatment with radiation without surgery.

  • Radiation eliminates any cancer cells that may have remained after surgery (adjuvant therapy), either alone or in combination with chemotherapy (chemoradiation). Following surgery, radiation can also lessen the likelihood that cancer will return to the same location.

  • Along with chemotherapy, radiation therapy reduces the tumor size making surgery less invasive and less tissue removal (neo-adjuvant therapy).

  • If chemotherapy is not an option, bigger tumors can be treated with targeted therapy medication. To know more, Book an appointment at our cancer care hospital in Vijayawada.

  • Radiation therapy helps to relieve the signs and symptoms of advanced cancer, including pain, bleeding, difficulty swallowing, and other issues brought on by the spread of the disease to the lungs or bones (Palliative therapy).

  • Radiation therapy also deals with cancer that has returned after therapy (recurrence).

Some cancer sites like head and neck cancers, require only radiotherapy in the early stages. However, patients with unresectable or advanced diseases may additionally receive chemotherapy or targeted therapy to increase the cytotoxic effect of radiation.

The type of radiation therapy most frequently used is external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). It directs radiation toward cancer from an external source. The actual operation is painless, and each treatment just takes a few minutes.

Other types of radiation therapy include Brachytherapy which is treating tumors with direct contact with radionuclide sources and Proton therapy which targets the tumor with protons instead of X-rays. 

Why is Radiation Therapy important for cancer?

Radiation therapy is employed in different kinds of situations where surgery is not possible(unresectable), to reduce the size of the tumor making it easy for surgery, to prevent the recurrence of the tumor after surgery, to reduce the suffering due to cancer in advanced stages and finally to treat cancer solely with radiation in early stages without the need of surgery (depends on site of cancer). Benign conditions like an acoustic neuroma and arteriovenous malformations can also be treated with radiation therapy., 

Radiation therapy is used to get rid of the tumor cells while protecting the surrounding healthy cells from harmful side effects.

What is the action of radiation on cancer cells? 

High-energy particle beams are delivered through the skin toward the tumor during radiation therapy for cancer. The beams can kill cancer cells by destroying their DNA after they have entered the tumor. 

What is the IMRT technique in Radiation Therapy? 

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is an advanced technique that helps in shaping the radiation beam toward the exact dimensions of the treatment region. It lowers the possibility of damaging healthy tissue while allowing you to give more accurate radiation dosages to the tumor. For patients who did not undergo surgery to remove a tumor, adaptive radiotherapy is especially helpful. Consult with our oncologist in Vijayawada to know more about IMRT Technique

What are the side effects associated with Radiation Therapy? 

Any treatment modality while treating cancer is associated with side effects. But with the advancement in medical and technological fields, side effects are controlled to a large extent. 

These side effects of radiation treatment are minimized or nullified by using advanced techniques like IMRT/VMAT/IGRT which precisely target the tumor and spare the normal tissue surrounding the tumor. Any minimal side effects can be managed by medications. 

So choosing a physician with expertise to treat cancer with advanced techniques is crucial.

Department of Cancer Care

Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada

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