What Are The Types Of Radiation Therapy Used For Cancer Treatment?


Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a nhatroso.com treatment that uses high doses of radiation khổng lồ kill nhatroso.com cells và shrink tumors. At low doses, radiation is used in x-rays to see inside your body, as with x-rays of your teeth or broken bones.

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How radiation therapy works against nhatroso.com

At high doses, radiation therapy kills nhatroso.com cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. nhatroso.com cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and removed by the body.

Radiation therapy does not kill nhatroso.com cells right away. It takes days or weeks of treatment before DNA is damaged enough for nhatroso.com cells khổng lồ die. Then, nhatroso.com cells keep dying for weeks or months after radiation therapy ends.

Types of radiation therapy

There are two main types of radiation therapy, external beam và internal.

The type of radiation therapy that you may have depends on many factors, including:

the type of nhatroso.comthe form size of the tumorthe tumor’s location in the bodyhow close the tumor is to lớn normal tissues that are sensitive to radiationyour general health và medical historywhether you will have other types of nhatroso.com treatmentother factors, such as your age và other medical conditions

External beam radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy comes from a machine that aims radiation at your nhatroso.com. The machine is large và may be noisy. It does not cảm ứng you, but can move around you, sending radiation lớn a part of your body from many directions.

External beam radiation therapy is a local treatment, which means it treats a specific part of your body. For example, if you have nhatroso.com in your lung, you will have radiation only to lớn your chest, not to lớn your whole body.

Learn more about external beam radiation therapy.

Internal radiation therapy

Internal radiation therapy is a treatment in which a source of radiation is put inside your body. The radiation source can be solid or liquid.

Internal radiation therapy with a solid source is called brachytherapy. In this type of treatment, seeds, ribbons, or capsules that contain a radiation source are placed in your body, in or near the tumor. Like external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy is a local treatment và treats only a specific part of your body.

With brachytherapy, the radiation source in your body will give off radiation for a while.

Learn more about brachytherapy.

Internal radiation therapy with a liquid source is called systemic therapy. Systemic means that the treatment travels in the blood to tissues throughout your body, seeking out & killing nhatroso.com cells. You receive systemic radiation therapy by swallowing, through a vein via an IV line, or through an injection.

With systemic radiation, your body fluids, such as urine, sweat, and saliva, will give off radiation for a while.


Why people with nhatroso.com receive radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is used khổng lồ treat nhatroso.com & ease nhatroso.com symptoms.

When used lớn treat nhatroso.com, radiation therapy can cure nhatroso.com, prevent it from returning, or stop or slow its growth.

When treatments are used to lớn ease symptoms, they are known as palliative treatments. External beam radiation may shrink tumors to treat pain & other problems caused by the tumor, such as trouble breathing or loss of bowel & bladder control. Pain from nhatroso.com that has spread khổng lồ the bone can be treated with systemic radiation therapy drugs called radiopharmaceuticals.

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Types of nhatroso.com that are treated with radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy is used to lớn treat many types of nhatroso.com.

Brachytherapy is most often used lớn treat nhatroso.coms of the head và neck, breast, cervix, prostate, & eye.

A systemic radiation therapy called radioactive iodine, or I-131, is most often used to lớn treat certain types of thyroid nhatroso.com.

Another type of systemic radiation therapy, called targeted radionuclide therapy, is used to treat some patients who have advanced prostate nhatroso.com or gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (GEP-NET). This type of treatment may also be referred lớn as molecular radiotherapy.

How radiation is used with other nhatroso.com treatments

For some people, radiation may be the only treatment you need. But, most often, you will have radiation therapy with other nhatroso.com treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, & immunotherapy. Radiation therapy may be given before, during, or after these other treatments to improve the chances that treatment will work. The timing of when radiation therapy is given depends on the type of nhatroso.com being treated và whether the goal of radiation therapy is lớn treat the nhatroso.com or ease symptoms.

When radiation is combined with surgery, it can be given:

Before surgery, to lớn shrink the kích cỡ of the nhatroso.com so it can be removed by surgery & be less likely khổng lồ return.During surgery, so that it goes straight khổng lồ the nhatroso.com without passing through the skin. Radiation therapy used this way is called intraoperative radiation. With this technique, doctors can more easily protect nearby normal tissues from radiation.After surgery to lớn kill any nhatroso.com cells that remain.

Lifetime dose limits

There is a limit khổng lồ the amount of radiation an area of your body toàn thân can safely receive over the course of your lifetime. Depending on how much radiation an area has already been treated with, you may not be able lớn have radiation therapy khổng lồ that area a second time. But, if one area of the body toàn thân has already received the safe lifetime dose of radiation, another area might still be treated if the distance between the two areas is large enough.

Radiation therapy can cause side effects

Radiation not only kills or slows the growth of nhatroso.com cells, it can also affect nearby healthy cells. Damage khổng lồ healthy cells can cause side effects.

Learn more about the side effects of radiation therapy.

How much radiation therapy costs

Radiation therapy can be expensive. It uses complex machines và involves the services of many health care providers. The exact cost of your radiation therapy depends on the cost of health care where you live, what type of radiation therapy you get, & how many treatments you need.

Talk with your health insurance company about what services it will pay for. Most insurance plans pay for radiation therapy. To lớn learn more, talk with the business office at the clinic or hospital where you go for treatment. If you need financial assistance, there are organizations that may be able lớn help. Khổng lồ find such organizations, go to lớn the National nhatroso.com Institute database, Organizations that Offer tư vấn Services and tìm kiếm for "financial assistance." Or call toll-free 1-800-4-nhatroso.com (1-800-422-6237) to ask for information on organizations that may help.

Special diet needs while on radiation therapy

Radiation can cause side effects that make it hard lớn eat, such as nausea, mouth sores, và throat problems called esophagitis. Since your body uses a lot of energy lớn heal during radiation therapy, it is important that you eat enough calories and protein lớn maintain your weight during treatment.

If you are having trouble eating and maintaining your weight, talk to lớn your doctor or nurse. You might also find it helpful khổng lồ speak with a dietitian. For more information about coping with eating problems see the booklet Eating Hints or read more about side effects.

Working during radiation therapy

Some people are able to lớn work full-time during radiation therapy. Others can work only part-time or not at all. How much you are able to lớn work depends on how you feel. Ask your doctor or nurse what you may expect from the treatment you will have.

You are likely khổng lồ feel well enough to lớn work when you first start your radiation treatments. As time goes on, bởi vì not be surprised if you are more tired, have less energy, or feel weak. Once you have finished treatment, it may take just a few weeks for you to lớn feel better—or it could take months.

You may get lớn a point during your radiation therapy when you feel too sick to work. Talk with your employer khổng lồ find out if you can go on medical leave. Kiểm tra that your health insurance will pay for treatment while you are on medical leave.