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Radiation Therapy : FAQs

Medical Radiology Treatment in India has successfully helped many cancer patients and given them a new chance at life. Just like chemotherapy, radiation therapy aims at targeting cancerous cells in order to reduce the size of a tumour before the surgery or to kill the cells that were left intact during the surgery. The procedure is performed by highly trained experts in specialised labs. It has brought about a revolution in the field of oncology. The procedure is quite new in India there are many people who do not know much about it. Here we have tried to answer some frequently asked questions regarding radiation therapy to make it easier for you to understand why you should opt for the procedure.

Why does one need to undergo radiation therapy?

Cancer is caused by the excessive multiplication of abnormal and unhealthy cells in the body that lead to the formation of a tumour. If left untreated the problem can spread to other organs of the body and pose a serious threat to the patient's life. And it is important to curb the growth of such cells as well as to destroy the existing ones in order to get rid of the disease. Radiation therapy is the best way to do so.

How does the therapy work?

Radiation therapy involves the use of ionising radiations to kill cancer cells in a particular part of the body. Unlike chemotherapy that exposes the whole body to the treatment, radiation therapy is used to target specific areas only. The high dose of radiations thus used help to destroy the genetic structure of the cells thereby killing as well as stopping the cancerous cells from multiplying any further.

What are the various ways of giving radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy can be given in two ways i.e internally and externally. In case of internal therapy, also known as brachytherapy, the source of radioactive radiation is directly placed inside the patient's body near the affected area whereas, in case of external therapy, the radiations are directed on the affected area with the help of a machine from outside the patient's body.

What are the side effects of the therapy?

After the treatment, you might become radioactive temporarily and even emit radiations for some time, as such the patient is to be kept isolated for some time such that the family members are not affected by these radiations. In the case of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals, your body emits a higher level of radiation and this call for more preventive measures. Also, some people tend to lose hair after the treatment but unlike chemotherapy due to which the patients lose all of their hair, patients undergoing radiation therapy only lose hair in the area subjected to the treatment.

How long does each session last?

The procedure takes about 10 minutes and has to be repeated daily from Monday to Friday for 5 to 8 weeks depending upon the adversity of cancer. Sometimes the surrounding healthy cells and tissues can also get damaged due to the therapy. The break on the weekends is taken to make up for this loss.

Tags: Medical radiology treatment, cancer patients, radioactive radiation, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, eternal hospital