Pros and Cons of Treating Cancer with Radiation Therapy

Why this resource is helpful:

Like all cancer treatments, radiation therapy has pros and cons. Learn more about how radiation therapy is used and what you might expect.
Quoted From:

"Radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) is a common treatment method for cancer, useful for about 60% of all cancers. New treatment methods and updates to the amount of radiation given have improved the accuracy and success of radiation therapy for cancer treatment. Learn about why oncologists include radiation therapy in the treatment process and discuss the side effects of radiation therapy for cancer treatment.
How Radiation Therapy Works
The most commonly used radiotherapy is external beam radiation therapy. This uses high-energy waves to target cancerous cells and shrink tumors. Radiation stops your cells" ability to divide and grow. When the cells try to divide but cannot, they die, and the tumor shrinks.

Cancer cells keep dying for months and divide more slowly after radiation therapy ends. Even if a tumor begins to grow again after treatment ends, it usually grows at a slower rate than it did initially. Radiation is often used with surgery and/or chemotherapy to prevent cancer from returning.

One session of radiation treatment usually lasts about 15-30 minutes, and most patients have five treatments per week. Anywhere from four to nine weeks of treatment is the normal timeframe for treatment. This will depend on whether the radiation therapy is hypofractionated."

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