Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It is a highly effective treatment option for many types of cancer, and is used in combination with other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy.
Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA inside cancer cells, which stops them from dividing and growing. The high-energy radiation beams are targeted directly at the cancerous tissue, and the radiation damages the DNA in the cells, causing them to die.
There are two main types of radiation therapy: external beam radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy. External beam radiation therapy is the most common type of radiation therapy, and involves using a machine called a linear accelerator to deliver high-energy radiation beams to the cancerous tissue from outside the body. Internal radiation therapy, also known as brachytherapy, involves placing a small amount of radioactive material directly into the cancerous tissue.
Radiation therapy is a non-invasive treatment option, and most patients experience only minor side effects during treatment. Some common side effects of radiation therapy include skin irritation, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. These side effects usually go away after a few weeks, and most patients are able to continue with their normal activities during treatment.
The effectiveness of radiation therapy depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer, the location of the cancer, and the patient’s overall health. In general, radiation therapy is most effective when used in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy, and is often recommended for patients who are not candidates for surgery or who have advanced cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
In conclusion, radiation therapy is a highly effective and non-invasive treatment option for many types of cancer. It uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors, and can be used in combination with other treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. Radiation therapy is a safe and well-tolerated treatment option, and most patients experience only minor side effects during treatment. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are considering radiation therapy, it is important to talk to your doctor about your treatment options, and to learn more about the potential benefits and risks of radiation therapy.