Cancer Radiation Treatment Options
Cancer Radiation Treatment at low cost and high quality is now within reach through WorldMed Assist. Our nurses arrange all aspects of your treatment and will act as your patient advocate. We have partnerships with some of the best hospitals in the US and abroad: hospitals that are accredited (JCAHO/ Joint Commission International) and, if the hospitals are outside the US, have strategic relationships with renowned US medical institutions such as Johns Hopkins and Harvard Medical.
Most importantly, we provide you with a personal touch from start until well after your return home.
What is Cancer Radiation Treatment?
Radiation therapy treatment is a form of therapy for treating cancer treatment that uses x-rays as a means of damaging the DNA of malignant tumor cells.
It is also known as “radiotherapy and “radiation oncology”.
Most common types of cancer respond positively to radiation therapy.
It is used for many different types of cancers.
Radiation therapy will damage normal cells in the process of eradicated cancer cells.
However, most normal cells will recover quickly from the treatment.
The main goal of radiotherapy is damage as many cancer cells as possible while minimizing damage to normal cells.
Please refer to the following pages for more information about specific cancer radiation treatments:
- Brain Cancer Radiation Treatment
- Liver Cancer Radiation Treatment
- Lung Cancer Radiation Treatment
- Pancreas Cancer Radiation Treatment
- Spine Cancer Radiation Treatment
Radiation therapy may be used prior to surgery in order to shrink tumors.
It can also be used after surgeries to prevent a relapse of cancer cells.
Radiation therapy has many applications and may be used either separately or in combination with other types of therapy such as hormone therapy or chemotherapy.
For some types of tumors it may be the only type of treatment needed.
How does the Cancer Radiation Treatment Work?
Radiation therapy is generally applied directly to a tumor.
For this reason it is considered to be a “localize” therapy.
This means that it treats only a specific portion of the body.
This is different from “systemic” types of therapies that travel throughout the entire body (such as chemotherapy).
During the procedure, the high energy rays are aimed at the tumor from several different angles.
This serves the purpose of avoiding damage to normal cells, while providing a larger dose to the actual tumor. It also helps in allowing the rays to pass through the various layers of tissue and organs without damaging them.
Sometimes the radiation field may encompass small portions of normal tissue or other systems that are involved such as surrounding lymph nodes.
This is because the position of the tumor can sometimes be altered by many factors.
It is important that the entire malignant growth be treated with the rays. These forms of cancer radiation treatment are usually administered once or twice daily.
What are the side effects of Cancer Radiation Treatment?
Since radiation therapy inevitably results in damage to healthy cells along with the malignant growths, it can have undesirable side effects.
Depending on the location of the tumor, these may include: alopecia (hair loss), digestive problems, diarrhea, lung damage, urinary problems, changes in sexual function, and other radiation-associated effects.
Recovery time is usually swift, as external beam radiation is usually an outpatient procedure.
Other forms of radiotherapy such as internal radiation therapy may require a few days of hospitalization after the procedure is completed.
Side effects can last anywhere from weeks to months.
This is considered to be much shorter than other forms of treatment such as chemotherapy.
How does Cancer Radiation Treatment compare with other forms of therapy and are there any alternatives?
Although radiation therapy is commonly used, it can be a rigorous procedure.
For example, total body irradiation involves the use of near-lethal dosages that creates a suppressed immune response requiring months of recovery.
Also, because the procedure damages normal cells as well, it may be considered an invasive form of treatment.
Other types of treatments, such as Cyberknife treatments are generally considered to be less invasive than radiation therapy.
Cyberknife procedures involve a frameless, stereotactic radiosurgery system capable of treating growths located anywhere in the body.
Cyberknife treatment involves a robotic system that uses the body’s skeletal structure to create reference points for treatment.
This eliminates the need for invasive procedures such as internal radiation therapy.