Difference Between Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy?

chemotherapy or radiation
chemotherapy or radiation

According to the study, both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not the best modalities for treating cancer. Both of them are judicious use of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapies are mainly based on the type of cancers and the stages where these two therapies give the best results. E.g., all cancer type Leukemia usually performed by using chemotherapy only, whereas cancer like lymphomas requires both chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and solid tumors need the combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In solid tumors, there are some cancers like ovarian cancer in which the surgeon at the hospitals under We Care India only performs surgery and chemotherapy, whereas rectal cancer needs radiation and chemotherapy followed by cancer surgery. Thus based on the cancer type and stages of cancer the patients will choose the best modality with the least side effects of the therapies.

Some people say that radiation therapy is worse for them and some say that chemotherapy is more painful. All this depends on the experience of the treatment they received. As we all know, that in radiation therapy the surgeon will use the high-energy radiation beams which affect the skin and you feel burning sensations. But before you undergo any therapies you need to discuss with your surgeon which one is best for you.

What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that is given to the patients in the form of drugs so that it will kill the cancer cells orally or intravenously. Chemotherapy is a drug that works by targeting the cells within the patient’s body which divides rapidly and this is one of the main characteristics of cancer cells. There are some normal cells also which are divided rapidly, such as cells in hair follicles and the digestive tract. It has been found that these cells are can be damaged by chemotherapy and it results in many side effects which the patient will experience when they undergo treatment.

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment where the surgeons at the hospitals under We Care India will give high-doses of radiation therapy to kill the cancerous tumors in the body. The high-beams of radiation will pass through the patient’s skin and other materials used which target a specific location where a tumor is located. In radiation therapy, high-beam radiation will damage the DNA of the cancer cells which causes them to die. The radiation therapy is a painless procedure and has limited side effects to the areas of the body around the tumors which receive the treatment. There are some other common side effects of radiation therapy which include fatigue and skin irritation.

What’s the difference between chemotherapy and radiation therapy?

The following table will help you to understand the difference between chemotherapy and radiation therapy:

  Chemotherapy Radiation Therapy
Introduction Chemotherapy is a drug therapy that is useful to treat by using anti-cancer drugs as part of a standardized regimen. Radiation therapy is the medical treatment that is useful for ionizing radiation and it is a part of cancer treatment that is performed to control or kill infected cells.
Purpose The purpose of chemotherapy is to cure, control and reduce cancer symptoms in the patient’s body. The purpose of radiation therapy is also the same as chemotherapy to reduce, cure, and control cancer symptoms in the patient’s body.
Treatment In chemotherapy, the surgeon will treat more than one part of the body or sometimes the whole body. In radiation therapy, the surgeons will treat a single part of the body.
Medications In chemotherapy, your surgeon will give heavy drugs in the form of injection, Topical, Intravenous, Oral medications are given. In radiation therapy, the surgeon will use the high energy waves which can be used externally, Internally.
Side effects The side effects of chemotherapy can be vomiting, lower appetite, fatigue, nausea, hair fall, pain, lower immunity, changes in fertility levels, and change in emotional patterns. The side effects of radiation therapy can be vomiting, fatigue, lower appetite, skin color changes, emotional changes, etc. Hair fall occur when radiations applied to head and patient experience difficulty in swallowing when radiation applied to the neck.
Side effects on healthy people A family member needs to take care and make sure that no one comes in contact with the drugs using in chemotherapy as it can affect the health of other people in the family. Family members need to make sure that they stay away from the radiation as the high-energy beans are used in radiation therapy which can affect the health of other people.
Time is taken Chemotherapy will take around 2 to 3-week cycles for 3 to 6 months. In radiation therapy, the duration varies which mainly depends on the nature and amount of radiation needed.
Cost The cost of chemotherapy ranges from USD 4,500 to USD 10,000 for one month of chemo drugs and this is quite reasonable as compared to other western countries. The cost of radiation therapy ranges from USD 2,000 to USD 5,000 per treatment depending upon the technique used in radiation therapy.

Combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy

There are cases, in which the surgeons at the hospitals under We Care India will suggest the combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy together. They suggest this approach particularly when they need to target the advanced stage of cancer which means that the cancerous cells are spread to one or more organs of the patient’s body or beyond the organ where cancer originated.

The decision to choose chemotherapy, radiation or both is a complicated procedure for the patients, but at the hospitals under We Care India, we have best counselors and oncologists who will help the patients to understand the use therapies. They will explain the side effects and the benefits of each treatment method which will help you in taking the decision that for the chemotherapy, radiation therapy or combination of both is useful which gives you the best outcome.