Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a medical treatment modality that uses high-energy radiation to target and destroy cancer cells or to prevent their growth. It is a common and highly effective treatment approach for various types of cancer. Radiation therapy can be administered externally or internally, depending on the specific cancer, its location, and the treatment plan developed by the healthcare team.

Here are some key points about radiation therapy:

Purpose: Radiation therapy is used for several purposes, including curative intent (with the goal of completely eradicating cancer), adjuvant therapy (used after surgery or other treatments to eliminate any remaining cancer cells), and palliative care (to relieve symptoms or slow the progression of advanced cancer).


External Beam Radiation: In this method, a machine outside the body delivers precisely targeted radiation beams to the cancer site. It is a non-invasive procedure and is the most common form of radiation therapy.


Internal Radiation (Brachytherapy): In this method, radioactive sources are placed directly inside or very close to the tumor. This is often used for certain types of cancers, such as cervical, prostate, and gynecological cancers.


Fractionation: Radiation therapy is usually administered in multiple sessions (fractions) over a period of several weeks. This approach allows for the targeted destruction of cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy surrounding tissue.

Simulation and Planning: Before treatment begins, a patient undergoes a simulation process to precisely determine the treatment area and the best angles for radiation delivery. Treatment plans are customized for each patient to maximize the effectiveness and minimize side effects.

Side Effects: Common side effects of radiation therapy can include skin changes, fatigue, nausea, and discomfort in the treated area. The type and severity of side effects can vary depending on the type of radiation therapy, the location of the treatment, and the individual patient.

Combination Therapy: Radiation therapy is often used in combination with other cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy, to improve outcomes.

Radiation Oncologist: A radiation oncologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the use of radiation therapy to treat cancer. They work closely with a team of healthcare professionals to develop and oversee the treatment plan.

Follow-up: Patients receiving radiation therapy are closely monitored throughout and after treatment to assess its effectiveness and manage any side effects. Follow-up care is an essential part of the treatment process.

Radiation therapy is a valuable tool in the fight against cancer and can be used to treat various cancer types, including breast, lung, prostate, head and neck, and many others. The choice of radiation therapy as part of a patient's treatment plan depends on the specific cancer diagnosis and stage, as well as individual factors like overall health and treatment goals. Patients should have open discussions with their healthcare team to understand the role of radiation therapy in their cancer care.

Radiation Therapy