Radiation therapy — also called radiotherapy — is designed to kill cancer cells that may remain in the body following surgery.
The recurrence of breast cancer, for example, may be reduced by about 70% when post-operative radiation treatment is used.
Many people are afraid of radiation therapy, believing that it will make them very ill. Despite what many people fear, radiation therapy is relatively easy to tolerate, and its side effects are limited to the treated area.
Our oncologist will choose the best therapy for you based on the type, stage and location of your cancer.
Radiotherapy damages cancer cells in the region being treated. Although the radiation can also damage normal cells, they can usually repair themselves. During this repair process, you may experience some side effects, depending on the part of your body being treated.Any side effects are usually only experienced within the treated area.
Radiation therapy may be used:
* As a primary treatment, to destroy cancer cells
* Before another treatment, to shrink a tumor
* To relieve symptoms of advanced cancer
* In combination with other treatments, to stop the growth of cancer cells
* After another treatment, to stop the growth of any remaining cancer
Advanced Imaging Techniques are incorporated in the radiation treatment so that the oncologists are able to monitor the tumor during the procedure. The radiation technologies are very targeted with the intention of delivering the maximum doses of radiation to the tumor, thereby reducing the trauma to surrounding healthy tissues and organs.
If a patient has arrived at the maximum level of radiation they may endure, we are usually able to offer other choices.
It is possible to have radiation therapy by itself or it may be combined with alternative options like surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and/or immunotherapy.
The efficacy of the treatment will be monitored throughout the therapy and will be modified, if and when necessary, by your radiation oncologist.