What is radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment which uses high-energy x-rays or other particles to eliminate cancer cells.
A radiation oncologist is a doctor who specializes in the use of radiotherapy to treat cancer. A radiotherapy regimen, or schedule, typically consists of a predetermined number of treatments administered over a certain time period.
Radiation treatment can be used to treat a wide range of cancers. It can also be used with other cancer therapies including chemotherapy and/or surgery.
The price of radiation therapy is quite affordable which makes this treatment method a better one. This article is based on radiation therapy, it uses, types, side effects and cost. Continue reading to know more about radiation therapy.
Why is it used?
It is an important technique in the treatment of cancer and is frequently combined with other therapies such as chemotherapy or tumor removal surgery.
Radiation therapy’s primary aims are to reduce tumors and destroy cancer cells. This is achieved by various ways including giving the radiation through external and internal sources.
There are several reasons why doctors may opt to use radiation to treat cancer. It is used to:
- annihilate all malignant cells
- reduce the tumor
- prevent cancer from returning
- treat cancer symptoms
This treatment may help reduce pain by stopping cancer cells from developing and lowering inflammation in the area of your body where the cancer is located.
It may not cure the cancer, but it may help to slow its progression and improve your quality of life by reducing pain.
Due to many advantages of radiation therapy, it is being used to treat different types of cancer for many years in the healthcare field.
What are the types of radiation therapy?
This therapy is classified into two types depending on the route of administration. These two forms of radiation treatment, and your doctor will evaluate several criteria before selecting which is best for you, including:
- Type of Cancer
- Size of tumor mass
- Location of cancer
- Stage of cancer
- Tissues surrounding the tumor
- Overall health of cancer
- If other treatment of cancer is used
- Age of the patient
The two main type of radiation therapy are:
1. External beam radiation therapy
External beam radiation therapy involves sending radiation rays from outside the body to the location of cancer. The beams are invisible, and the device does not contact you but moves around you. Its mobility enables it to transmit radiation in a variety of directions.
2. Internal beam radiation therapy
Internal radiation treatment is administered in a variety of methods. A doctor may implant a source of radiation into your body near the cancer spot as part of brachytherapy. Radiation sources are frequently in the form of:
To keep the radiation contained, this procedure is normally performed within an operating room. Imaging tests are commonly used by doctors and technicians to ensure that the implant is placed correctly.
The type of radiation therapy required is suggested by the oncologist depending on the type of cancer.
Side effects of radiation therapy?
Damage to healthy cells might have unintended consequences. According to cancer doctors many patients who get radiation treatment experience weariness. Fatigue is defined as being fatigued and worn out.
Areas of treatment and potential negative effects
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of hair
- Memory or concentration issues
- Vomiting and nausea
- Skin changes
- Hazy vision
The type of side effects may vary in different individuals, and it is not necessary that a person have similar side effects.
How much does it cost?
The typical cost of this therapy in India ranges between Rs.30,000 and Rs.20,00,000, depending on the type of radiation technology used.
The cost of therapy is affordable, and the treatment is painless which makes it one of the best cancer treatments.
Do’s of Radiation therapy
While taking radiation therapy it is necessary to take care of yourself and the people around you. There are many things you can do to minimize side effects and reduce the risk of radiation on people around you, such as:
- Laundry, including towels and sheets, should be washed separately from the rest of the household.
- To minimize splashing of bodily waste, use the toilet when seated.
- After using the toilet, flush it twice and thoroughly wash your hands.
- Separate utensils and towels should be used.
- Drink plenty of water to eliminate the radioactive particles from your system.
- Maintain a safe distance from other members of your home.
Don’ts of radiation therapy
This therapy comes with various precautions that a patient needs to take on a daily basis. Apart from the things a patient should do, there are many things a patient taking radiotherapy should avoid during a period of time. Some of these things are listed below:
- For a certain period of time, avoid contact with newborns, children, and pregnant women.
- For a set period of time, avoid contact with domestic animals.
- Avoid taking public transportation for a set period of time.
- Plan to spend a certain amount of time away from work, school, and other activities.
- Instead of taking drugs without contacting your doctor, call him and ask for his advice.
- Avoiding alcoholic beverages and smoking during Radiation Therapy may have a negative impact on the treatment. Instead, go for dried fruits, nuts, and fresh vegetables.
- Avoid all milk products as much as possible; alternatives include warm water and fresh juices without milk.
- Instead of chips, bread, and snacks, try fruit and vegetable salads, boiling green leaves, and boiled or scrambled eggs.
- Avoid direct sunlight on the treatment area; instead, run a flow of air over it.
- Avoid going to places that have radiation-related stuff.
The material presented here covers some of the safety risks associated with various forms of radiation therapy. Depending on the type of radiation used, precautions may be required before and after treatment.
You must understand what you need to do to safeguard those around you. Discuss your unique condition with your cancer care team.
This therapy is an important part of different cancer treatment. Radiation treatment, like pharmaceuticals, can have negative effects. Some of these side effects affect the body, however with proper care should be taken during radiation therapy, you can:
- Reduce the negative impacts on your body.
- Assist your body in feeling more at ease throughout treatment.
- Allow your cells to recuperate faster following treatment.
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Benefits of radiation therapy
1. Pain relief
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells without harming surrounding healthy tissue. Also works best when tumors are small, and it is often combined with surgery, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy.
It can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. In some cases, radiation therapy may be recommended after initial treatment to reduce the risk of recurrence.
2. Cancer prevention
Radiation therapy may help prevent cancer from returning. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that patients who have undergone radiation therapy for cancer had a reduced chance of developing second cancers compared to people who did not receive radiation therapy.
3. Hair loss
Hair loss is a common side effect of radiation therapy. If hair loss occurs, it may take months for hair to regrow.
4. Skin damage
Radiation therapy can cause skin burns, sores, blisters, and rashes. These effects are temporary and generally go away once the treatment stops. However, they may leave scars.
5. Side effects
Some side effects of radiation therapy include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, weight gain, and shortness of breath. Patients should speak with their doctor about any symptoms they experience before starting treatment.
Cost of radiation therapy in India
To kill or destroy cancer cell, radiation therapy uses high energy particles.
The cost of radiation varies depending on the type of treatment being provided, the location of the clinic providing the treatment, and the insurance plan of the patient receiving the treatment.
A single session of radiation therapy can range between $1000-$5000 per session, while a course of radiation therapy sessions can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours each.
In addition, the cost of therapy increases if the patient requires additional treatments due to complications or side effects.
Patients who receive this therapy often require follow-up visits to monitor their progress and ensure they are tolerating the treatment well.
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This therapy is a type of cancer treatment that employs high-frequency rays to kill cancer cells.
It can be provided as follows:
Externally through a machine, known as teletherapy; and internally via drugs or injections, known as brachytherapy, administered directly to the afflicted region.
The doctors determine the amount of radiation on the basis of type and stage of cancer. Apart from these factors, overall health of the patient also plays a major role in determining the amount of radiation. They figure out how much to give to destroy cancer cells while leaving normal ones alone.
It can induce tiredness, skin irritation, hair loss, and other adverse effects. To manage these side effects, we can use various ways.