The Latest News on Radiation Oncology
Radiation oncology deals with cancers of the organs, tissues, fluids and blood. There are three main types of radiation oncology treatments, with each having its own risks and benefits. The treatment types include brachytherapy (radiation of the breast), radiation therapy, palliative therapy, and radiation beam therapy.
Radiation oncology can be used in many different ways. Brachytherapy is usually used for localized prostate cancer treatment, often with radioactivity therapy. Radioactive iodine is injected into the prostate, where it kills cancer cells. Brachytherapy usually requires repeated sessions lasting months.
Radiation therapy is also used to kill cancerous tumours outside the body
Such as those found in the bones, lungs and lymph nodes. It has been effective in several cases. Palliative therapy, often called radiation oncology palliative therapy, is used to treat cancer through symptoms. This form of therapy is used to alleviate symptoms of various forms of cancer. The most common symptom is pain. Radiation is often administered directly to the affected area to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.
Radiation beam therapy is one of the more commonly used forms of radiation oncology
This method is used to treat cancerous tumours that have spread beyond the area of surgery. In this method, a high energy beam of radiation is used to target cancerous growth. Sometimes, the radiation beam is combined with laser therapy to further kill the disease. The radiation beam may also be directed at a normal part of the body, such as the breast, to relieve pain.
Radiotherapy is used to treat mild to moderate non-stage I cancers
A chest x-ray is used to determine whether radiation is needed. Radioactive Iodine (RI) is often used to combat thyroid cancer in the low doses recommended. Radioactive Calcium (RNC) is sometimes used as adjunctive therapy for people with stage I or II cancers.
Ion therapy is used to kill the cancerous tumour by producing large quantities of negative ions. As a result, patients feel little to no pain. The procedure is often done in an outpatient facility and there are very few risks. However, some patients do report a slight discomfort from the procedure. Radioactive drugs are often used before radiation therapy.
Cancer survivors are especially vulnerable during bone marrow transplants and the procedure called bone marrow transplantation
During this procedure, a patient’s own stem cells are taken from the bone marrow and stored until needed. These stem cells are then transferred into the diseased part of the patient. The procedure can cause nausea, fever, and vomiting. Patients should stay well hydrated and get plenty of rest.
Radiation oncology is a highly effective treatment option for cancer patients
However, it should be considered with other options such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The benefits of radiation therapy far outweigh its possible side effects. In the end, patients should decide which treatment modalities are right for them based on the type of cancer they have and how aggressive the disease is. They should ask their oncologist about the potential benefits and risks of each therapy modality.
There are many types of radiation therapies available for cancer patients
Depending on the type of cancer, a patient may choose between
- Ionizing Radiation
- External Beam Radiation
- Internal Radiation
- Targeted Radiation Therapy
- Combination Treatments
Doctors determine the best course of action for each individual patient according to the severity of cancer, the type of cancer, the age of the patient, the expected number of years the cancer will be present, the patient’s quality of life, and the other factors that affect the decision-making process.
One of the main goals of radiation therapy is the prevention or elimination of cancer cells from developing in the body
This can be achieved by destroying the cancerous cells while also preventing the formation of new ones. In some cases, chemotherapy is administered along with radiation therapy for the faster elimination of cancerous cells. Radiation oncology can provide relief for cancer patients suffering from both symptoms and cancer.
Radiation therapy can include both external and internal radiation. External radiation such as x-rays, chemotherapy, and radiation may be used in order to treat cancer. Internal radiation therapy is used to shrink tumours before surgery.
Although cancer patients may suffer from side effects from radiation therapy, these side effects are generally mild and can be treated or managed by the patient. Patients can choose which side effects they are most comfortable with. Some of the side effects caused by radiation therapy include
- Skin rash
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
In more severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized to prevent them from harming themselves. Talking to a doctor is a good way to learn more about possible side effects and how to deal with them if they occur.
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