Radiation Therapy

by Carol Gomes

Radiation therapy is the last and the most important therapies prescribed to a cancer patient. It is advised only when the cancer is found to be malignant and no other medicine would work for this cancer. The aim of the radiation therapy is to control or stop the growth of the cancer so that the malignant cells do not spread all over the body.

Radiation Therapy is also known as radiotherapy, this therapy involves passing of radiation rays to the cancer through lot of exposed skin surface so that the radiation is able to attack the cancer more effectively. Electromagnetic radiation rays are passed through the skin to the organ where this malignant tumor has grown. The therapy requires the patient to take low or high does palliative treatments. The amount of dosage and the intensity of radiation depends on the size of the tumor as well as health and physical condition of the patient.

Radiation therapist generally conducts all radiation therapy, only because of the reason that he has been trained in this field, measuring and deciding the intensity of radiation therapy, is the job of radiation therapist. The radiation therapist is also responsible for moving the patient in and out of the radiation unit.

The process of ionization during radiation is responsible for damaging the tumor permanently. The ionization takes place when proton, electron or a photon ionize atoms which make up DNA, once this DNA is ionized it then provides permanent damage to the tumors.

Like any other medical treatment there are side effects of this treatment too. People might experience long term or short-term side effects of Radiation. Long-term effects can be caused even for years after the radiation therapy has taken place. Some of the symptoms are permanent damage to the body, these are like infertility, hair loss, swelling, damage to the skin, etc. These are just some of the side effects there can be negligible or severe side effects depending on intensity of radiation therapy you required to take for eradication of Cancerous tumors.

Radiation therapy is not used singly. It is often used along with some other therapies, so that each complements other for removal of cancer all together. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy sometimes are used together. Sometimes the doctor might choose to use surgery or radiation therapy together depending on the requirement of the disease.

Radiation therapy however, has cured many from the deadly cancers and given them a lease of life, it is no wonder therefore, though this therapy has side effects, people do not hesitate when it comes to fighting for life.

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