The Goals of Radiation Therapy in Cancer Treatment
Dr. Sheilane Mabanta gives an in-depth explanation of the various goals of radiation therapy in cancer treatment.
Decatur, TX, - Nov 26, 2018 – Radiation therapy is a method of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. When administered in low doses, radiation can be used in X-rays to see inside the body. Radiation is among one of the most common cancer treatment methods. Normal cells in the body grow and divide to form new cells, but cancer cells grow and multiply faster than normal cells. Radiation works by breaking the DNA inside the cells to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing further and kill them. Radiation can also affect healthy cells surrounding the cancer cells, but most of the normal cells recover and continue to work normally.
“Radiation oncology treatment is one of the most effective therapies available for cancer treatment,” explained Dr. Mabanta. “If your cancer care team recommends this therapy, it’s because they know that the benefits you’ll get from radiation treatment outweigh the possible side effects it may present.”
Radiation therapy can be used to treat different types of cancers either alone or in combination with other cancer treatments. Here are some of the goals of radiation therapy:
• To cure or shrink early-stage cancers – Some cancers are highly sensitive to radiation, and in these cases, radiation can be used by itself to make the cancer completely go away or shrink. In other cases, chemotherapy may be administered first. In other cases, radiation may be used as neoadjuvant therapy or pre-operative therapy to shrink tumors, or as adjuvant therapy after surgery to keep the cancer from recurring. Radiation can also be used in the cure of certain cancers because the procedure causes less damage. Other types of cancer may require the use of radiation and chemotherapy together, although the side effects become worse with this combination.
• To stop cancer from recurring – Cancer can spread to other parts of the body and radiation may be used to kill the cancer cells before they grow into tumors. People with certain types of lung cancer are treated using preventive or prophylactic radiation to the head to kill the lung cancer cells that may have spread to the brain. Radiation therapy can be administered twice at the same time as treatment of existing cancer and also prevent future cancer.
• To treat symptoms caused by advanced cancer – When cancer is already advanced, the tumors can be shrunk by radiation to make them smaller. It can also be used to relieve the pain, bowel blockages or help when the patient has trouble breathing or swallowing due to advanced cancer. This is known as palliative radiation.
“Some forms of radiation therapy such as an IMRT are used as alternatives to surgery because they are minimally invasive,” continued Dr. Mabanta. “However, it’s important to know as much as you can about the possible risks and benefits to help you be sure that getting radiation therapy is best for you.”
About North Texas Cancer Center at Wise
North Texas Cancer Center at Wise, a division of Choice Cancer Care, is now operating as the Cancer Center at Wise Regional and is one of the most renowned cancer treatment centers in Texas. The center unites some of the best cancer doctors and surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. Our expert team delivers superior cancer treatment in Texas, with the best results available.
North Texas Cancer Center at Wise County
2010 S. Ben Merritt Drive, Ste A
Decatur, TX 76234