What Is Radiotherapy?
Radiation therapy is the delivery of high energy X-Rays which facilitates more penetration, helps in treating deeper tumors and spares skin much better. It is a form of cancer therapy, which can be used as a curative, adjuvant and palliative means.
- As a curative option used in cancer cervix, H&N cancers, brain tumors.
- As an adjuvant treatment in Cancer breast, endometrium, Head &Neck etc.
- As a palliative radiation in bony mets, severe pain, brain metastatic.
Radiotherapy also can be used as radiosurgery tool especially in metastatic and brain tumors.
When does a patient get Radiotherapy?
A patient may receive radiation therapy before, during, or after surgery. Some patients may receive radiotherapy, without surgery or other treatments. Some patients may receive radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the same time. Many a times it is given before surgery, which is called pre- operative radiation. Radiotherapy given during surgery is called intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT).
Side-effects Of Radiotherapy?
Radiotherapy can cause both acute and chronic side effects. Acute side effects occur during treatment, and chronic side effects occur months or even years after treatment ends. Acute radiation side effects include skin irritation or damage at regions exposed to the radiation beams. Most acute effects disappear after treatment ends. Fatigue is a common side effect of radiation therapy regardless of which part of the body is treated. Medications are available to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting during treatment.