What Are Clinical Trials
Cancer specialists regularly conduct studies to test new treatments. These studies are called clinical trials. Clinical trials are available through cancer doctors everywhere- not just in major cities or in large hospitals.
Some clinical studies try to determine if a therapeutic approach is safe and potentially effective. Many large clinical trials compare the more commonly used treatment with a treatment that cancer experts think might be better. Patients who participate in clinical trials help doctors and future cancer patients find out whether a promising treatment is safe and effective. All patients who participate in clinical trials are carefully monitored to make sure they are getting quality care. It is important to remember that clinical trials are completely voluntary. Patients can leave a trial at any time. Clinical trials testing new treatments are carried out in phases:
Only you can make the decision about whether or not to participate in a clinical trial. Before making your decision, it is important to learn as much as possible about your cancer and the clinical trials that may be available to you. Your radiation oncologist can answer many of your questions if you are considering taking part in a trial or contact the National Cancer Institute at 1-800-4-CANCER or www.cancer.gov.
Finishing Your Radiation Therapy Sessions
It is important to finish all sessions of radiotherapy. And never to miss or delay treatments because this may reduce the effectiveness of the radiation in killing the tumor cells.
You should remember that your doctors are not just bothering you with making several hospital visits. There is need for different sessions because radiation is destructive and should not be delivered all at ago. In fact, if the recommended dosage was to be given once, it would pose a greater risk to healthy tissues and produce more adverse effects.
At Advanced Urology Institute, we spend the necessary time, effort and expertise to design a detailed treatment plan for radiation therapy. We offer the treatment in conjunction with other therapies and with the help of experienced oncologists and a multidisciplinary cancer care team.
We are also committed to reducing the time our patients take in treatment and often implement maximized aggressive treatments when necessary. Contact us today to learn whether radiotherapy is right for you and the various options available for you. For more information, visit the site Advanced Urology Institute.
Types And Characteristics Of Cell Death
Radiation therapy, like most anticancer treatments, achieves its therapeutic effect by inducing different types of cell death 37 .3). Radiation therapy does not kill cancer cells right away. It takes hours, days or weeks of treatment before cancer cells start to die after which cancer cells continue dying for weeks to months after radiation therapy ends.
Types of cell death induced by radiation. Radiation mainly kills the cells either by apoptosis or mitotic catastrophe.
Apoptosis: Programmed cell death or apoptosis is a major cell death mechanisms involved in cancer therapy and in radiation therapy in particular 38, 39, 40. Apoptosis is characterized by cell shrinkage and formation of apoptotic bodies. Mitochondria play a major role for the apoptotic cell death 41. Blebbing of cell membrane is often seen with condensed chromatin with nuclear margination and with DNA fragmentation. In general, the cellular membrane of apoptotic cells remains intact. Induction of apoptosis in cancer cells plays an important role in the efficacy of radiation therapy 37, 42.
The above two types of cell death account for the majority of ionizing radiation induced cell death.
Necrosis: Cells visibly swell with breakdown of cell membrane. Cells have an atypical nuclear shape with vacuolization, non-condensed chromatin and disintegrated cellular organelles along with mitochondrial swelling and plasma membrane rupture followed by subsequent loss of intracellular contents 46.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
Coping with a diagnosis of cancer and researching the various treatment options can be a stressful experience. To assist you in this process, below is a list of questions you may want to ask your radiation oncologist if you are considering radiation therapy.
Questions to ask before treatment
- What type and stage of cancer do I have?
- What is the purpose of radiation treatment for my type of cancer?
- How will the radiation therapy be given? Will it be external beam or brachytherapy? What do the treatments feel like?
- For how many weeks will I receive radiation? How many treatments will I receive per week?
- What are the chances that radiation therapy will work?
- Can I participate in a clinical trial? If so, what is the trial testing? What are my benefits and risks?
- What is the chance that the cancer will spread or come back if I do not have radiation therapy?
- Will I need chemotherapy, surgery or other treatments? If so, in what order will I receive these treatments? How soon after radiation therapy can I start them?
- How should I prepare for this financially?
- What are some of the support groups I can turn to during treatment?
- If I have questions after I leave here, who can I call?
- Will radiation therapy affect my ability to have children?
- Do you take my insurance?
Questions to ask during Treatment
Questions to ask After Treatment Ends
What To Expect During Radiation Treatments
Treatments are usually given five days a week for six to seven weeks. If the goal of treatment is palliative treatment will last 2-3 weeks in length. Using many small doses for daily radiation, rather than a few large doses, helps to protect the healthy cells in the treatment area. The break from treatment on weekends allows the normal cells to recover.
It is very important to finish all sessions of radiation therapy. It is important not to miss or delay treatments because it can lessen how well the radiation kills tumor cells.
The radiation therapy technologist may ask you to change into a gown before treatment. It is a good idea to wear clothing that is easy to pull down, adjust, or remove when coming for treatments.
During the actual treatment sessions you will be in the treatment room between 10-30 minutes. You will be receiving radiation for 1-2 minutes of that time.
You will be asked to lie on a hard, moveable bed. The RTT will use the marks on your skin to exactly position the machine and table. In some instances, special blocks or shields are used to protect normal organs. You may be positioned using special holders, molds or boards.
It is extremely important to remain still during the radiation treatments. Breathe normally during treatments. You do not need to hold your breath. You will not feel anything during the treatment. Radiation is painless. You will not see, hear, or smell radiation.
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Swelling Bruising Or Tenderness Of The Scrotum
Symptoms generally resolve on their own within three to five days. Oral anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are usually sufficient for pain relief, if necessary. You should avoid hot tubs and Jacuzzis for at least two to three days after the procedure. Postpone bike riding until the tenderness is gone.
How Does Radiation Therapy Treat Cancer
Cancer begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control. All cells in the body go through a cycle to grow, divide, and multiply. Cancer cells go through this process faster than normal cells. Radiation therapy damages cell DNA so the cells stop growing or are destroyed.
Unlike other cancer treatments affect the whole body, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy is usually a local treatment. This means it generally affects only the part of the body where the cancer is located. Some healthy tissue near the cancer cells may be damaged during the treatment, but it usually heals after treatment ends.
There are many different types of radiation therapy, and they all work a little bit differently to destroy cancer cells.
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How Can I Make A Donation To The Department Of Radiation Oncology
Thank you for your interest in contributing to the Department of Radiation Oncology at Boston Medical Center. Philanthropic support is needed to further the Department of Radiation Oncology’s mission to provide exceptional care without exception to all of our patients and to further our clinical research activities, which focus on investigating treatment methods to improve outcomes. If you wish to submit a donation to the department, please visit our secure website, select Other under designation, and write “Radiation Oncology” in the new field. Your personal commitment to support the departments research initiatives with a tax-deductible gift will play an important role as the department moves forward with its critical work to bring forth breakthrough contributions benefiting patients battling cancer.
Boston Medical Center is a 501 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. to submit a donation.
Boston Medical Center is a 514-bed academic medical center located in Boston’s historic South End, providing medical care for infants, children, teens and adults.
One Boston Medical Center Place Boston, MA 02118
So How Long Does The Radiation Therapy Take
The exact duration of the treatment depends on the type, characteristics, and location of the tumor. The length of treatment also depends on the dosage to be delivered, the number of fractions to be given, the treatment plan created by the radiation oncologist, and whether it is external or internal radiotherapy.
For example, if you have a deeper tumor, then you may require a more-focused beam delivered for a shorter period of time. But if you have a larger, shallow tumor, then you may need treatment for a longer period.
Equally, since the radiation must be given in a way that has minimal adverse effects on healthy cells, a shorter length of exposure is necessary if the tumor is located in more delicate organ or is in close proximity to very sensitive body tissues.
Your radiation oncologist will assess your tumor and make the necessary prescription. Then, by working with your radiation oncology team, the oncologist will determine how best to deliver the prescribed dosage, how many treatments are necessary, and how long it should take.
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Sexual And Reproductive Health
You can be sexually active during your radiation therapy unless your radiation oncologist tells you not to be. You will not be radioactive or pass radiation to anyone else.
If you or the person youre sexually active with can get pregnant, its important to use birth control during your radiation therapy. Birth control is also called contraception.
You may have concerns about how cancer and your treatment can affect your sex life. Radiation therapy can affect your sexual health physically and emotionally. Talking with your radiation oncologist or nurse about your sexual health can be hard, but its an important conversation to have. They may not bring it up unless you share your questions and concerns. You may feel uncomfortable, but most people in cancer treatment have similar questions. We work hard to make sure everyone in our care feels welcome.
Sexual health programs
We also offer sexual health programs. These programs can help you manage the ways your cancer or cancer treatment affect your sexual health or fertility. Our specialists can help you address sexual health or fertility issues before, during, or after your treatment.
- For information about our Male Sexual & Reproductive Medicine Program or to make an appointment, call .
- For information about our Cancer and Fertility Program, talk with your healthcare provider.
What Other Kind Of Cancer Treatments Are Available
Many different types of cancer treatment are used in Australia today. The type of treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the type of cancer, the stage, your treatment goals and your general health.
Types of cancer treatment available include:
- surgery an operation to physically cut out a cancer
- chemotherapy strong medicines used to kill cancer cells
- immunotherapy medicines that use your own immune system to target and kill cancer cells
- hormone therapy medicines that block the effects of certain types of the bodys hormones on cancer growth and spread
- targeted therapy medicines that target specific traits of cancer cells to affect their growth and spread
- ablation using chemicals, extreme temperatures or radiowaves to kill areas of cancer cells
- alternative therapies using therapies outside of mainstream medical practice
- clinical trials taking part in trials of new medicines designed to treat cancer
Radiotherapy may be given together with other treatments, such as surgery and/or chemotherapy. Chemotherapy and radiation given close together can make both treatments more effective.
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What Are The Late Side Effects From Radiation Therapy
Late side effects from radiation therapy take months and sometimes years to show up and usually donât go away. But not everyone will have them.
These problems happen when radiation damages your body. For example, scar tissue can affect the way your lungs or your heart works. Bladder, bowel, fertility, and sexual problems can start after radiation to your belly or pelvis.
Another possible late effect is a second cancer. Doctors have known for a long time that radiation can cause cancer. And research has shown that radiation treatment for one cancer can raise the risk for developing a different cancer later. Factors that can affect that risk include the amount of radiation used and the area that was treated. Talk with your doctor about the potential risk and how it compares to the benefits youâll get from radiation therapy.
Hair Regrowth After Radiation
Hi! I am interested in hearing how long it took your hair to grow back after radiation and/or chemo specifically Truebeam and TMZ. Not sure it matters, but I have AA3 and have had 3 craniotomies related to the original tumor.
Great question. I asked that too. After resection and radiation/chemo I started my SoC . It was the radiation that caused my hair loss. Luckily focused on frontal lobe but still caused me to look disheveled. So I crew cut my hair, with wifes help, and now on upcoming 5th TMZ week, the hair is coming back. Slower than I prefer but coming back. Be patient. Get home hair groomer. Youll look good again. And by the way, lesser hair has no impact on who we are.
So I am a woman and I now have needed to shave my head for more than a year to keep it all relatively even for about 6 months I have seen some growth in the spot that was completely bare, but it is thin and patchy there. So I am just wondering if it will ever fill in there
Whole brain and spinal cord irradiation all my hair fell out, and it started growing back about 2 months after my final radiation day. However, it took a little over 6 months to have even a fine covering of tiny hairs over my entire scalp. There were just sporadic hairs with a whole lot of bald for a long time.
Thats how my brother feels! Lol whatever you have to do.
Few weeks. Im in optune so i have to shave my head abs constantly it grows so fasr
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Being Prepared And Understanding Radiation Therapy Can Help Lessen Some Of The Stress Surrounding Your Treatment
Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is one of the main treatments for cancer. Being prepared and understanding radiation therapy can help lessen some of the stress surrounding your treatment. Ask your oncologist, doctor or nurse about the risks and benefits of radiation therapy and any other questions you have about your treatment.
Why Is Radiation Given
Radiation therapy is used to treat cancer and a few non-cancerous diseases. Radiation treatments can be used to:
- Treat cancer by killing, stopping, or slowing the growth of cancer cells
- Shrink tumors to reduce pain, pressure, or other side effects if a cure is not possible. The term palliative is often used to describe this process.
Radiation therapy is often used with other treatments
Radiation may be used before, during, or after surgery. It is used to shrink the tumor to a smaller size before surgery or to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery. Sometimes doctors give radiation during surgery so the radiation can be directed right at the cancer cells without having to go through the skin.
Radiation can also be used with chemotherapy. Sometimes radiation is given to shrink the tumor before or during chemotherapy so the medicines will work better. Other times the chemotherapy helps the radiation treatment work better than chemotherapy alone.
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Six Tips For Staying Hydrated
As important as it is to stay hydrated when youre well, studies show its essential during cancer treatment. However, maintaining hydration may be a challenge for patients who are unable to consume enough fluid or who lose too much due to the symptoms of the disease or side effects of treatment.
Setting Expectations For Proton Therapy Treatment
From the moment you walk into The University of Kansas Cancer Centers Proton Therapy Center, you will be surrounded by support, compassion and leading-edge expert care providers.
Our disease-dedicated cancer specialists work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to meet your individual needs, because we understand that no 2 people experience cancer the same. Your personal care team may include physician specialists, nurses, psychologists, social workers, dietitians and navigation experts. These individuals work closely together to ensure you receive exceptional treatment every step of the way.
Here, cancer experts who are nationally and internationally recognized bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to help patients prevail over cancer. These highly skilled specialists from one of the countrys leading National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers work in tandem to offer exceptional treatment for adult and pediatric cancers.
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