Radiation Therapy

  • Uses of Radiation Therapy

    Uses of Radiation Therapy

    RT can be used to eliminate lingering cancer cells, prevent cancer metastasis, and shrink tumors for symptom relief or tumor resection.<sup>2</sup>

  • Benefits of Radiation Therapy

    Benefits of Radiation Therapy

    The benefits of RT include decreased cost, no risks of anesthesia or infection, no adverse effects from surgery or need for rehabilitation, and painless treatment.<sup>2</sup>

  • Types of Radiation Therapy: Teletherapy

    Types of Radiation Therapy: Teletherapy

    Teletherapy, also known as external beam radiation, is a non-invasive outpatient therapy targeting a specific region of the body.<sup>1</sup> The process can be repeated over weeks to months as fractionation treatment in small fractions over time.<sup>3</sup>

  • Types of Radiation Therapy: Brachytherapy

    Types of Radiation Therapy: Brachytherapy

    Brachytherapy is a sealed source of radiation administered directly into or near a tumor that travels into the blood to kill cancerous cells.<sup>1</sup>

  • Types of Radiation Therapy: Systemic Therapy

    Types of Radiation Therapy: Systemic Therapy

    In systemic radiation therapy, patients either receive an injection or swallow a radioactive substance that is bound to a monoclonal antibody to aid in targeting the tumor.<sup>3</sup>

  • Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

    Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

    Systemic effects may develop based on the volume of tissue irradiated, dose of fractionation, radiation fields, and individual susceptibility.<sup>1</sup>

  • Acute Toxicities

    Acute Toxicities

    Acute toxicities, such as mucositis or erythema multiforme (pictured), occur during treatment and are due to damage of rapidly dividing normal cells. These toxicities can typically be alleviated by interrupting treatment.<sup>1,3</sup>

  • Chronic Toxicities

    Chronic Toxicities

    Chronic toxicities, such as fibrosis (shown here), memory loss, infertility and secondary cancers may occur for months or years after treatment, dependent on treatment location, dose, and general medical condition of the patient.<sup>3</sup>

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Radiation therapy (RT) utilizes high energy beams or charged particles to damage DNA and generate free radicals from cell water that can harm cancer cells.1 Cancer cells are more vulnerable to radiation due to the faster rate of cancer cell division.1 This slideshow reviews the uses, benefits, types, side effects, and toxicities associated with radiation therapy.

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