Radiation Therapy Works Through In Various Ways To Remove The Cancer Cells
The biological target of radiation in the cell is DNA .
Radiation act directly or indirectly on the cellular DNA.
The biological target of radiation in the cell is DNA. Extensive damage to cancer cells DNA can lead to cell death. DNA double-strand breaks are more responsible for most cells killing, even a single DSB is sufficient to kill a cell or disturb its genomic integrity by the radiation treatment.
Double strand DNA breaks are irreparable and more responsible than the single strand DNA breaks for most of cell killing in cancer as well as surrounding normal cells.
What Happens After Treatment
With internal radiation therapy, youll typically go home after a short recovery the same day. Occasionally, you may need to stay in the hospital while your body sheds trace amounts of radiation. After systemic radiation therapy, you may secrete small amounts of radiation through body fluids, like sweat, pee and blood.
If you receive IV or permanent internal radiation therapy, theres a small risk of exposing others to radiation. Follow your radiation therapy teams guidance about how much contact you should have with others after radiotherapy.
You should be able to go about your regular daily activities before and after EBRT. Theres no risk of exposing others to radiation.
External Beam Radiation Therapy
This uses a machine called a linear accelerator to send radiation wavesâtypically photon beamsâthrough your body to the location of your cancer. This therapy is typically done in a series of outpatient visits to a treatment center, usually over a course of several weeks. It can involve:
- Three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy: Three-dimensional images are used to create a mold and target the specific location of the cancer to reduce damage to surrounding tissues.
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy: Three-dimensional images are used to target therapy to a specific cancer location, but several high-powered beams are used to deliver radiation and the strength of each beam can be adjusted during the session.
- Proton beam therapy:Proton beams require a special machine to deliver, and these machines are rare and costly, so this type of therapy is not available in many facilities.
- Image-guided radiation therapy: This technique uses radiation machines outfitted with imaging scanners that can help deliver beams to more precise locations, reducing damage to surrounding tissues.
- Stereotactic radiation therapy: This type of therapy uses imaging tools to deliver large doses of radiation to small tumors.
Also Check: How To Keep Your Hair During Chemo
What Can I Expect If I Have Esophageal Cancer
That depends on factors like your overall health and if you received a diagnosis before the tumor spread. Healthcare providers often successfully treat early-stage esophageal cancer. About 46% of people treated for early-stage esophageal cancer are alive five years after diagnosis.
Healthcare providers may not be able to destroy the cancer, especially if its already spread. They can provide treatment to help you live well as long as youre able, maintain quality of life and ease symptoms. They may recommend palliative care that can help you live comfortably and without pain.
To Treat Cancer That Has Returned
If a person’s cancer has returned , radiation might be used to treat the cancer or to treat symptoms caused by advanced cancer. Whether radiation will be used after recurrence depends on many factors. For instance, if the cancer has come back in a part of the body that has already been treated with radiation, it might not be possible to give more radiation in the same place. It depends on the amount of radiation that was used before. In other instances, radiation might be used in the same area of the body or a different area. Some tumors do not respond as well to radiation, so radiation might not be used even if they recur.
Read Also: Treatment For Stage 4 Cancer
Internal Radiation Therapy For Breast Cancer Treatment
The most common type of internal radiation therapy used to treat breast cancer is high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Its used to treat early-stage breast cancer after breast cancer surgery. HDR brachytherapy is a much shorter process compared to external radiation therapy but currently has limited use in those who had small tumors found early.
An applicator with tiny tubes is placed into the breast. During each treatment session, seeds are placed in the tubes for several minutes to deliver radiation treatment and destroy any remaining cancer cells not removed during surgery. The seeds may also target nearby lymph nodes a common area where cancer spreads. The seeds are removed but reinserted at each session. After about a week, when you complete your treatment, the applicator is removed.
What Happens During Radiation Therapy
Internal radiation therapy usually happens in a special outpatient treatment room or in a hospital. Your radiation oncologist may insert the radiation implant using a small flexible tube called a catheter. For this treatment, youll receive anesthesia so you dont feel pain or discomfort during the procedure. With the systemic form of internal radiation therapy, youll receive radioactive fluid through an IV.
With EBRT, you lie on a table, positioned as during simulation. The radiation machine moves around you but never touches you. A healthcare provider called a radiation therapist operates the machine from a separate room. You can speak to each other at any time using an intercom. The machine directs precise doses of radiation toward the tumor as it shifts positions. You wont feel anything during treatment.
Also Check: Stage 4 Lung Cancer Survivor Stories
Radiation Therapy For Lung Cancer
Lung cancer radiation therapy uses powerful, high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. Radiation may come from outside the body or from radioactive materials placed directly inside the lung cancer tumor . External radiation is used most often. The radiation is aimed at the lung cancer tumor and kills the cancer cells only in that area of the lungs.
But Can Radiation Also Kill Cancer Cells
Yes, as discussed above, radiation can damage the DNA of cancer cells, stopping them dividing and even killing them completely. When a doctor administers radiation therapy, they should take into account the damage that it will cause to healthy cells so that as few as possible are killed. Any excess radiation that is administered has the potential to damage healthy cells and either kill them or increase the risk for cancer in the future.
Working During Radiation Therapy
Some people are able to work full-time during radiation therapy. Others can work only part-time or not at all. How much you are able to work depends on how you feel. Ask your doctor or nurse what you may expect from the treatment you will have.
You are likely to feel well enough to work when you first start your radiation treatments. As time goes on, do 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 feel betteror it could take months.
You may get to a point during your radiation therapy when you feel too sick to work. Talk with your employer to find out if you can go on medical leave. Check that your health insurance will pay for treatment while you are on medical leave.
Questions To Ask The Health Care Team
Consider asking your health care team these questions if radiation therapy is recommended as part of your cancer treatment plan:
What type of radiation therapy is recommended for me? Why?
What is the goal of having radiation therapy? Is it to eliminate the cancer, help me feel better, or both?
How long will it take to have this treatment? How often will I have radiation therapy?
Will I need to get a mesh mask or support made before my treatment begins? Can you describe this process?
Where will I receive radiation therapy?
What short-term side effects can I expect during radiation therapy?
What can be done to relieve side effects I experience?
Who should I talk with about any side effects I experience? How soon?
How will this treatment affect my daily life? Will I be able to work, exercise, and perform my usual activities?
What are the possible long-term side effects of this type of radiation therapy?
Whom should I call with questions or problems?
How can I reach them during regular office hours? After hours?
If I’m very worried or anxious about having this treatment, what can I talk with?
If I’m worried about managing the cost of this treatment, who can help me?
Will special precautions be needed to protect my family and others from radiation therapy I receive?
Will I receive other cancer treatments in addition to radiation therapy?
When will we know if this treatment was successful? How?
Also Check: Breast Cancer Metastasis Sites Frequency
What Is External Beam Radiation Therapy
During external beam radiation therapy, a beam of radiation is directed through the skin to the cancer and the immediate surrounding area in order to destroy the main tumor and any nearby cancer cells. To minimize side effects, the treatments are typically given five days a week, Monday through Friday, for a number of weeks. This allows doctors to get enough radiation into the body to kill the cancer while giving healthy cells time each day to recover.
The radiation beam is usually generated by a machine called a linear accelerator. The linear accelerator, or linac, is capable of producing high-energy X-rays and electrons for the treatment of your cancer. Using high-tech treatment planning software, your treatment team controls the size and shape of the beam, as well as how it is directed at your body, to effectively treat your tumor while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. Several special types of external beam therapy are discussed in the next sections. These are used for specific types of cancer, and your radiation oncologist will recommend one of these treatments if he or she believes it will help you.
Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy
When Is Radiation Therapy Used For Breast Cancer
Radiation therapy can be used after a lumpectomy to reduce the size of the tumors, making them easier to remove, but it can also be used to treat advanced breast cancer. Radiation therapy may also be suggested to use in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy. Learn about the various ways radiation therapy is used to treat breast cancer below.
Recommended Reading: Chem Trend Spray Foam Silicone
Types Of Radiation Therapy For Breast Cancer
Your specific breast cancer radiation treatment plan will be based on:
- The type of breast cancer, and how likely it is to grow quickly
- The size and location of the breast cancer tumor. This is often determined in the staging process.
- Your age and overall health condition
There are two main types of radiation therapy used to treat breast cancer. External beam radiation is the most common type and targets the tumor, through the skin, from outside the body. Internal radiation delivers radiation inside the body.
Are There Alternative Treatment Options For Cancer
There are many treatments and combinations of treatments used for cancer. Radiation can be used alone or with other treatment strategies like chemotherapy and surgery. Alternative therapies and adjunctive treatments are always being researched and developed, but you should talk with your medical team about any new treatments you would like to try. They can also guide you if you are interested in participating in a clinical trial for new therapies.
Read Also: Lung Cancer Stages Life Expectancy
What Are The Types Of Radiation Therapy Used For Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy is one of the most common forms of cancer treatment. It uses high-energy X-rays to pinpoint and destroy cancer cells. Radiation damages the cancer cells causing them to stop multiplying.We asked radiation oncologist Valerie Reed, M.D., to explain some of the most common types of radiation therapy and how they are used. Heres what she shared.
Some types of radiation therapies are used to treat cancers near sensitive organs.
Four types of radiation therapy are frequently used at MD Anderson when a tumor is close to sensitive organs. These can be used to treat many types of cancer:
Internal radiation therapies use a radioactive source in or near the cancer site
Three common types of internal radiation therapy include:
External beam radiation therapies are delivered through a specialized machine directly to the cancer site
These include the following types of radiation therapy:
Before finalizing a radiation treatment plan, our doctors review the patients clinical history, pathology reports and imaging studies to determine the optimal radiation treatment for each patient.
As each treatment plan is customized, it is important to discuss your radiation treatment options with your doctor before starting treatment.
Can I Have Sex While In Radiation Therapy
Sex might be painful while receiving radiation therapy. Many people experience vaginal irritation as a side effect. If you receive radiation via brachytherapy, you may not be allowed to have sex while the radiation pellets are still active. Talk with your medical team if you have questions about sexual activity during radiation therapy.
Ovarian cancer is very treatable. The exact outlook depends on factors such as the stage at diagnosis, type of cancer, and your overall health. But newer treatments are improving the odds for all types of ovarian cancer.
Todays treatment plans for ovarian cancer often combine multiple types of treatments, leading to better patient outcomes. Treatment plans may include:
- radiation therapy
According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for epithelial ovarian cancer across all stages is 49 percent . But that varies greatly depending on when doctors first detect the cancer.
Most people dont receive a diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer until the cancer has already spread to distant parts of the body. The 5-year survival rate in these cases is only
Recommended Reading: Prostate Cancer Symptoms Back Pain
When Is One Therapy Better Than The Other
Sometimes, one of these treatments can be more effective than the other in treating a particular type of cancer. Other times, chemo and radiation can actually complement each other and be given together.
When you meet with your cancer care team, your oncologist will give you the options that will be most effective in treating your type of cancer.
Together with your cancer care team, you can decide on the treatment option thats right for you.
Chemo and radiation are sometimes used together to treat certain types of cancers. This is called concurrent therapy. This may be recommended if your cancer:
- cannot be removed with surgery
- is likely to spread to other areas of your body
- isnt responding to one particular type of treatment
With both chemotherapy and radiation, theres a high likelihood of experiencing some side effects. But that doesnt mean you cant do anything about them.
Here are some tips to cope with the
Does Radiotherapy Make You Radioactive
External radiotherapy doesn’t make you radioactive, as the radiation passes through your body. However, the radiation emitted by internal brachytherapy radioactive implants can be dangerous to other people while the implant is in place.
You should discuss any safety concerns you have with your care team.
Recommended Reading: Best Shampoo For Post Chemo Hair
What Are Possible Side Effects Of Radiation Therapy
Radiation treatment can cause side effects. These problems may result from the treatment itself or from radiation damage to healthy cells in the treatment area.
The number and severity of side effects will depend on the type of radiation, dose, and body part under treatment. Talk to your doctor and/or nurse so they can help manage them.
Radiation can cause early and late side effects. Early side effects happen during or right after treatment. They are typically gone within a few weeks. Common early side effects include fatigue and skin problems. Skin in the treatment area may become sensitive, red, irritated, or swollen. Other changes include dryness, itching, peeling, and blistering.
Depending on the area being treated, other early side effects may include:
- hair loss in the treatment area
- mouth problems and difficulty swallowing
- eating and digestion problems
- secondary cancer
There is a slight risk of developing cancer from radiation therapy. After treatment, your radiation oncologist will regularly check for complications and recurrent or new cancers.
Other common side effects of radiation therapy include:
- dry mouth and other mouth problems
- extreme fatigue
- inflammation in the treated area, such as difficulty with swallowing, a cough or feeling short of breath as a result of radiation to the chest
- pain with or difficulty swallowing
- loss of hair in the treatment area
Most of these side effects go away within two months after radiation therapy is finished.
General Cancer Treatment Considerations
Keep a few things in when treating your dog for cancer:
- Cancer treatment can cost thousands of dollars. Consider your budget when discussing cancer treatment options with your veterinarian.
- Monitor your dog closely and alert your veterinarian if your dog’s symptoms have worsened or their quality of life has decreased.
Be realistic about treatment success. Your dog may succumb to cancer despite receiving the best possible treatment. Accepting this reality can better prepare you for your dog’s cancer treatment journey and potential outcomes.
Don’t Miss: Cold Caps For Chemo Patients
External Beam Radiation Therapy For Breast Cancer Treatment
External beam radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to target your breast cancer. Advanced technology and 3D imaging help pinpoint the exact area of the breast where the cancer is located. The beams of radiation are then planned to conform to the exact shape of the tumor. With this type of radiation therapy technology, called IMRT, were able to reduce the amount of healthy tissue thats affected by these treatments.
Its typical for breast cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy to be given treatment five days a week for several weeks. In some cases, the radiation therapy treatments can be hypofractionated. Instead of one short session every weekday for 6-8 weeks, its possible to increase the dose per day to shorten the number of weeks that radiation therapy is needed. Some patients can be done with radiation in 4-5 weeks when hypofractionated therapy is used.
Each time you go to the cancer center for radiation therapy treatments, youll lie on a table in the radiation-delivery machine . Theyll take some time to be sure youre in the same spot in each treatment session. Try to wear clothes that are loose fitting and make it easy for you to lie down.