RADIATION THERAPY IN INDIA
Radiation is a form of energy released in particles or waves. In high doses, radiation destroys cells or keeps them from multiplying.
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment. Its goal is to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Unlike cancer cells, most of your normal cells recover from radiation therapy. Doctors try to protect normal cells by limiting the radiation dosage and spreading treatment out over time. When they use radiation machines, they shield as much of your body as possible while targeting the cancer.
The radiation for cancer treatment comes externally, from special machines, or internally, from radioactive substances that a doctor places in your body. Sometimes radiation is used with other treatments, like surgery or chemotherapy.
How Radiation Is Given ?
Radiation therapy is administered two ways: externally or internally. Some kids may receive both external and internal radiation, depending on their needs.
External radiation therapy uses a large machine and special equipment that aims very specific amounts of radiation at cancerous tumors or diseased areas of the body. With Internal radiation therapy (also known as brachytherapy, interstitial therapy, or implant therapy), a radioactive substance is injected or implanted into the body at the site of the tumor or cancer cells. In some cases, the material is swallowed.
Most kids receive only external radiation therapy, although those with cancers of the head and neck, uterus, cervix, thyroid, and testes may also undergo internal radiation therapy.
A radiation oncologist (a doctor who specializes in radiation therapy) will work with other health care professionals to decide on the type and dose of radiation therapy that’s best for your child.
What Is Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy, x-ray therapy, or irradiation) is the use of a certain type of energy (called ionizing radiation) to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy injures or destroys cells in the area being treated (the “target tissue”) by damaging their genetic material, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide. Although radiation damages both cancer cells and normal cells, most normal cells can recover from the effects of radiation and function properly. The goal of radiation therapy is to damage as many cancer cells as possible, while limiting harm to nearby healthy tissue.
There are different types of radiation and different ways to deliver the radiation. For example, certain types of radiation can penetrate more deeply into the body than can others. In addition, some types of radiation can be very finely controlled to treat only a small area (an inch of tissue, for example) without damaging nearby tissues and organs. Other types of radiation are better for treating larger areas.
In some cases, the goal of radiation treatment is the complete destruction of an entire tumor. In other cases, the aim is to shrink a tumor and relieve symptoms. In either case, doctors plan treatment to spare as much healthy tissue as possible.
About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery. In some cases, a patient may receive more than one type of radiation therapy.
Common Side Effects of Radiation
If your child has cancer, you’re not only coming to terms with that diagnosis, but probably also worrying about the physical and emotional effects of radiation therapy.
Although the main purpose of radiation is to destroy cancer cells, it can also damage healthy cells. It’s this damage to normal cells that results in radiation side effects, most of which are related to the area being treated. The physical side effects of radiation therapy depend on the dose of radiation, the location where it was received, and whether the radiation was internal or external.
Many patients have no side effects at all, but for those who do, most will go away in time, generally aren’t serious, and can be controlled with proper treatment.