Radiation therapy is among the most effective cancer treatments that have
seen many patients get cured. In rare cases, radiation therapy can be used to treat thyroid disease and blood disorders. The treatment works by directing high-energy beams to the targeted tumour. Owing to its success, radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, is highly used today.
Once applied, the radiation destroys the cancer cells’ DNA hence hindering their reproduction. They eventually die, and the tumour shrinks. Radiography is categorized into:
- External Beam Radiation Therapy. Here, an external machine delivers radiation to the target.
- Here, doctors place the source of radiation in the body close to the target.
Radiotherapy can be used alone or together with other forms of treatments like chemotherapy, as per your doctor’s recommendation. Radiotherapy’s level of accuracy makes it able to locate cancer from any part of the body, hence killing its cells and protecting vital body organs and tissues.
As it works to cure cancer, radiotherapy also offers relief to such symptoms as pain and general improvement of quality of life in cancer patients. Radiotherapy helps to eliminate cases of bone pains and other complications common in advanced cancers such as lung and bladder bleeding.
Even as it continues to save lives, radiotherapy has remained cost-effective compared to other cancer treatments. Because it’s offered as an outpatient treatment, patients save on the hefty hospital bills they would have incurred if treated as an in-patient. Radiotherapy is not only cost-effective to patients but hospitals too. How?
Though expensive to purchase, the linear accelerator, the machine used for treatment, can treat tons of patients daily for up to ten years.
Further, radiotherapy comes in handy when reducing the chances of recurrence after successful treatment. For such cancers as prostate, breast, and bowel, cases of recurrence are common. Radiotherapy is, therefore, useful.
For other cancers such as bladder, skin, and lung cancers, radiotherapy is effective, even without additional treatments. This way, we avoid the chances of such therapies as surgery, which could consequently lead to the need to remove organs.
For patients who hate the sight of hospitals, well, radiation sessions are short, 15 minutes or less. This rarely interrupts the patients’ daily activities. This way, you can still go to work, school, or attend other daily activities while still undergoing treatment. And it doesn’t end there.
Neck and head cancer patients often experience obstruction inside the superior vena cava, thus affecting the flow of blood back to the heart. Radiotherapy helps resolve this problem. However, radiotherapy is not only about curative treatment. Dealing with the effects of cancer and curative radiotherapy is yet another uphill task for radiotherapy patients.
Palliative radiotherapy aims at relieving the symptoms of cancer and some effects of radiotherapy. Palliative radiation often involves fewer dosses and treatment sessions compared to curative radiotherapy. This type of radiotherapy can offer relief to ex-brain cancer patients experiencing common symptoms such as sicknesses and headaches. For valuable insights on radiation therapy, click here.
Similarly, this treatment offers relief to lung cancer patients experiencing such symptoms as breathlessness. This treatment also gives comfort to patients undergoing the symptoms of compression of the spinal cord. Further, cancer tumours are prone to blocking various body passages. Radiation therapy helps to relieve such symptoms. Similarly, when cancers grow beneath the skin and break out, the resulting end is ulcerating cancer, also called cancer wounds or malignant wounds. Apart from eliminating cancer, radiation therapy also help with drying the wounds.
Thanks to technological advancement, patients can now access radiation therapy treatments. The accurate, safe, and effective treatment has given patients a reason to smile by improving their lives. As the medical industry continues to progress, the world is soon likely to witness even more useful, reliable, and high-quality radiation treatment.