What Should You Expect from Radiation Therapy Procedure for Cancer Treatment?

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is the most common treatment for cancer patients. It is natural to feel overwhelmed or worried when you know that you will need radiation therapy. However, knowing what to expect from this therapy may build up your confidence and help you feel secure, prepared, and comfortable with the procedures. 

What Is Radiation Therapy?


Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is a treatment that uses a high dose of radiation like protons, gamma rays, high-energy x-rays, or electron beams to damage the DNA in cells which are surrounded by cancer.

These radiations help to kill cancer cells or slow down their rapid growth. It takes several days for these cancer cells to die. It is not a one day process where you can kill the cells in a few minutes. The radiation affects and attacks the DNA, but the cells keep dying for months or weeks after the therapy ends. One needs to be patient with the procedure, and after-treatment follow up system. Click here to get in-depth information about radiation therapy.

What Should You Expect From Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment?


First of all, you are expected to meet your radiation oncologist before the treatment. They will conduct medical tests to review your medical records. At the time, you may learn about the risks and benefits of the therapy from the doctor. After getting your permission for the therapy, the doctor's team will plan and execute the actual treatment. 

Here Are Three Ways of Performing Radiation Therapy


The types of radiation therapy depend upon the type of cancer, size of the tumor, tumor's or cell's location in the body, medical history and general health, age, and medical conditions of the patient.

Perceiving the therapy types may help you understand the procedure and give you a concrete idea of what you should expect from the treatment.

External Radiation


As the name suggests, this kind of radiation treatment is carried by an external machine called a linear accelerator. It will feel like an X-ray, which will not cause any pain.

Internal Radiation


In this type of therapy, the radiation source is placed inside your body near the cancer cells. This one takes time as the source needs to be implanted into your body.

Systematic Radiation


Systematic radiation includes the procedure of consuming radioactive drugs by mouth or via injections. These drugs then reach the cancer cells by traveling through the body. You may need to follow some special precautions in this type of radiation therapy.

After the treatment, you need to get a follow-up from your doctor's team. Regular check-ups and rest is the key to track your health progress. You also have to keep an eye on your body's changes to track the therapy's side effects. The side effects will not show up immediately after the treatment in most cases. It takes time to react. In this way, you have to be extra alert. To get more details, click here.

You may feel an urge to return to your normal life after the treatment is done, but it is crucial to follow the rules, rest, and handle your physical and emotional changes.

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