Beating cancer means more than just cutting it out or poisoning it with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) is another important tool in the cancer-fighting arsenal that’s used to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells. But what exactly does radiation therapy do, and how does it work? For more information on this non-invasive form of treatment, visit our page about radiation therapy Farmington today!
Why Do I Need Radiation Therapy?
Did you know that radiation therapy Farmington is a treatment for cancer? In fact, radiation therapy is the best way to kill cancer cells. It shrinks tumors, destroys all the cancer cells, and leaves healthy tissue intact. But why do I need radiation therapy? And what exactly does it do? Radiation therapy is a type of treatment used to eliminate or reduce tumours caused by cancer. When tumors are irradiated they shrink because all the oxygen and nutrients get cut off from them. All the meanwhile healthy tissue remains untouched.
How Does Radiation Work?
In radiation therapy, the doctor will prescribe a high dose of radiation over the span of several weeks. The radiation will then cause damage to cancer cells by breaking their DNA and destroying their ability to reproduce. This is called apoptosis. The patient might experience nausea or skin burns from the treatment, but doctors are usually able to manage these side effects with medications. In many cases, after radiation therapy, patients find that their tumors have shrunk in size or stopped growing altogether.
What Are The Side Effects Of Radiation?
Side effects of radiation therapy depend on the person's medical history, the location of the cancer, the technique being used and other factors. Radiation can make some people feel tired or cause them to lose their appetite. It might give others an upset stomach or trouble sleeping. These side effects should go away after treatment is finished, but radiation therapy does have some long-term side effects as well. Some of these can include an increased risk for developing thyroid problems, like difficulty breathing or difficulty swallowing, or skin cancers that may be sensitive to sunlight.
How Is A Course Of Treatment Carried Out?
A course of radiation therapy is usually planned for a few weeks, but the length of the treatment can be different depending on the type of cancer and its location. The treatment may take place over five to seven days with a large daily dose of radiation, while over one or two days a small amount of radiation may be given to increase doses gradually. Most treatments are given either by a machine outside your body, or by sending beams into your body via needles inserted into your skin. Radiation therapy can also involve giving radioactive material called radiopharmaceuticals (such as Tc-99m sestamibi) intravenously instead of injecting them into your veins.
How Will I Feel During Treatment?
Doctors may recommend radiation therapy to reduce the size of a tumor or cancerous growth, or to control its spread. Radiation therapy is also used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, sarcoma, meningioma and other cancers that are located in places that are difficult to surgically remove. During radiation therapy sessions, doctors insert thin needles through your skin onto the area being treated and direct high-energy rays towards the tumor cells. Unlike surgery which has an incision across your skin surface requiring stitches (sutures), there will be no visible sign that you have had a radiation treatment. Radiation therapy does not cause bleeding or cutting so it does not leave scars on your skin.
Will My Hair Fall Out During Treatment?
Yes, your hair will fall out. It usually starts to fall out a few weeks after radiation treatment has begun. If you are losing more than the average person you may have an underlying medical condition that is causing it, so please contact us immediately for assistance.
The beauty of radiation therapy is that once the treatments are finished, the hair should grow back on its own without any intervention from the patient.
How Long Does A Course Of Treatment Take And What Happens After Each Session?
High doses of radiation are used in radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumours. Radiation treatments are often given five days a week for four to six weeks, though it may be less if the cancer is localized or more if there are other health concerns. Treatments typically last about thirty minutes, after which patients need to rest for three hours before returning home. The following day, the patient should avoid strenuous exercise. This process is repeated five days a week for six weeks at the time of treatment. Patients will also have regular appointments with doctors during this time. What does one experience after each session? A typical course of treatment lasts from four to six weeks with treatments being given 5-6 times per week on average over that period.
What Will My Future Look Like If I Have Had Radiotherapy?
After treatment, most people will experience some temporary changes that affect their quality of life. The severity of these side effects depends on a number of factors, including the dose and type of radiation used to treat the cancer. If you have had radiotherapy, you may experience changes to your physical appearance or body image; tiredness or lack of energy; psychological or emotional difficulties; sexual problems (including impotence); bladder control problems (frequent urination); difficulty swallowing or feeling like food gets stuck in your throat. It is important to know what these side effects are so you can make plans to help prevent them if possible.
In addition, if the cancer is successfully treated by radiotherapy, the person's cancer cells should be eliminated after treatment.