Radiation Oncology

8 June, 2021

With the improvements of the industrial revolution and the medical revolution, it is clear that we are living in a technologically advanced era. With the help of technological developments, people have a better chance of surviving cancer and leading normal, fulfilling lives. 

Radiation therapy has been used to treat cancer patients for over 100 years now. The main purpose of treatment is to destroy the cancer cells and prevent them from growing back. Through a series of treatments, the normal cells in the body are also affected, which is why radiation therapy for cancer has been nicknamed the ‘cancer treatment that damages normal cells and tissues’. Radiation therapy is often used for the treatment of breast cancer, brain cancer, and prostate cancer.

What Is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is the use of radiation to destroy cancer cells that are growing in different parts of the body. It is one of the major treatment methods for cancer. It is a treatment method that has been used for many years to diagnose and treat cancer patients. Radiations can be used alone or in combination with other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery. It is one of the oldest and most widely used cancer treatments. It works by attacking the cancer cells with high-energy rays. 

How Does Radiation Therapy Work?

Radiation therapy is a method of cancer treatment that involves using radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. Radiation used for cancer treatment is a form of ionizing radiation, like x-rays, gamma rays, or neutrons. Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves or particles to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing and dividing.

Types of Radiation Therapy 

There are 2-types of radiation therapy:

  1. External Radiation Therapy 
  2. Internal Radiation Therapy

External Radiation Therapy 

External therapy is a type of radiation therapy where radiation sources are generated outside of the body and delivered to the tumour site through catheters or other radiative (imaging) devices. This is also known as tele-radiotherapy. A few countries still use this method to treat cancer. However, this method is slowly being replaced by brachytherapy or internal radiation therapy.

Internal Radiation Therapy 

Internal radiation therapy is a form of radiotherapy in which radioactive material as small as a rice grain is placed inside the body for the treatment of cancer. No other treatment can offer the high cure rates that internal radiation therapy can give. It is almost always the treatment of choice for patients with early-stage prostate cancer. When other treatment options fail, the best option is to use this type of radiation therapy. 

How does it work? It starts with a capsule (or “pellet”) that’s implanted into your body. Once the capsule is in place, a healthcare provider will use imaging to find your tumour. Once it’s located, a radiation machine (like a CT scanner) will direct radiation at the tumour. The combination of radiation and capsules will slowly destroy the tumour.  

Why Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy is one of the best-known cancer treatments and the most frequently used cancer treatment worldwide, but it’s not without risks. The use of radiation therapy has increased over the years due to many advancements in technology and technique. One of the latest ways to administer radiation treatment is by linear accelerators. Linear accelerators are used for a variety of cancer treatments and illnesses, with the main reason for using this form of radiation therapy being to help minimize the side effects of the treatment. However, radiation therapy can also be used proactively to prevent cancer from recurring. 

Practically since its creation, radiation therapy has been one of the most useful methods for treating cancer. Yet, it is not without its limitations. Some limitations are controllable by using devices like the one discussed above LINAC.

Radiation therapy functions as a solution for several medical problems from slowing the growth of cancer tumours to relieving the pain. Therefore, it is considered the best possible way to help patients suffering from cancer. 

Where to Get Treatment?

Medical tourism in India is on the rise. The top-most cancer specialist hospital in Delhi is ranked number one by several global magazines. It is another feather added to the cap of Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, which offers surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy treatments. A lot of people make their way to India for medical treatments as the treatments are performed by the top doctors and are dedicated to personalized patient care. 

We hope reading this blog was useful for you and you got to know what radiation therapy is, how it works, and where to get treated. If you are looking for the treatment of radiation therapy for cancer, we hope this blog post gives you some peace of mind and helps you to know what to expect during your treatment. With this knowledge, we know that you can make the most of your cancer treatment.

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