4 Things you know about radiation before committing to chemotherapy treatments

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There are different cancer treatment methods such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. Radiation treatments treat cancer through beams of high-energy waves that only target the affected area, not the whole body. The treatment can also be given through radioactive drugs. Patients who have gone through this therapy have healed from cancer and those with advanced cancer experience fewer symptoms. Here are some of the things you need to know before starting this treatment:

1) The Treatment Procedure

This therapy takes five days a week for three to nine weeks depending on the type of cancer you have. Each session is quick taking about fifteen minutes and you are given anesthesia to prevent feeling pain. On the first day, you are supposed to sign an informed consent, which permits the therapy procedure. Then your first session will commence with a practice simulation that identifies the position of the tumor using either a CT scan, MRI or an X-ray. The target area will be marked with a small tattoo for easy and precise aiming. You have to be immobile during the treatment; the doctors will fit an immobilization device that secures you in one position. You can get a comfortable immobility device for your child at The treatment will continue on weekdays and break during the weekend for recovery until your treatment program ends.

2) Types of Radiation Therapy

This treatment can be done in three ways contingent on the type and stage of cancer. They are internal, external, or systematic. With internal radiation, an implant, either permanent or temporary, is inserted next to the tumor to release radiation that destroys the cancer cells. The external radiation therapy is common where a beam of radiation targets the tumor from the outside. With systemic radiation therapy, one either ingests or is injected with a radioactive drug.

3) The Side Effects

This therapy uses high doses of radiation to kill the cancer cells but ends up damaging healthy cells near the tumor. This damage can cause both immediate and long-term side effects. The side effect a patient experiences is determined by the treatment location. Common side effects are skin sensitivity, fatigue, and emotional distress. You can reduce the odds of getting side effects by resting, eating healthy, going for counseling or support groups, and minimizing sun exposure.

4) Radiation Therapy Can Be Combined With Other Cancer Treatments

Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may decide to do this procedure alone or with other treatment plans like surgery or chemotherapy. This treatment alone can treat cancer for patients who have been diagnosed with early stages of cancer. On the other hand, for a patient with advanced cancer, a combination of treatment is more productive. This is because radiation therapy helps in to manage the tumor since it targets to shrink the tumor. By reducing the tumor size, radiation therapy makes it easy for other treatments like chemotherapy destroying the cancer cells after surgery.

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