What Happens During Radiation Therapy Treatment?

What Happens During Radiation Therapy Treatment?

20 December 2021
Posted By Dr. Aditi Aggarwal
What Happens During Radiation Therapy Treatment?

This therapy is mainly one type of cancer treatment process which uses beams of intense energy to kill the cells of cancer. This X-ray therapy damages affected cells by defeating the genetic material which controls the cells growing and dividing process.

It is very natural to be worried or being stressed when people learn that they will need radiation therapy for their treatment. But in reality, this type of treatment is most comfortable and painles treatment of all cancer directed treatments.

What do people get by Radiation Therapy?

This treatment process uses such things- x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, to kill or damage cancer cells to prevent patients from cancer. Cancer cells grow and divide faster than other normal cells. That's why destroying these cells is the most important thing for this treatment. This process works by making small cracks in the DNA inside the cells. This creaking keeps cancercells from growing and dividing and causes them to die faster. People don't need to worry about their normal cells' affection because radiation is very focused on the cancer affected area.

Is this therapy painful?

More than 50% of people who have cancer get radiation therapy initially , and more would need radiation at some point in their treatment, and they don't report it's painful or uncomfortable. Sometimes, it's used for certain non cancerous tumors also.

The positive sides of this treatment people can get -

  • This treatment is helpful to cure or prevent primary-stage cancer.
  • It helps to return or stop cancer from coming back somewhere else.
  • It also prevents the symptoms caused by advanced cancer.
  • Cancer that has returned is also treatable by this therapy treatment.
  • This therapy treatment works very fast and safely rather than another treatment process.This therapy treatment works very safely rather than another treatment process.
  • Not just in cancer, this therapy is also used for other treatments (etc.).

How is radiation therapy given to a patient?

As the type of cancer is different, that's the reason the therapy treatment is further for other cancer patients. The primary treatments are mentioned below -

The External radiation treatment -

This therapy treatment is also known as External-beam radiation therapy, which mainly delivers radiation from a machine outside the body to treat cancer. It is the most common treatment. It just takes 15 mins. Patients need these treatment sessions five times per week. most of the times.
In some cases the radiation treatment is given on alternate day basis or once a week.

The Internal radiation treatment -

In this treatment process, the radioactive source is put inside the patient's body into or near the tumor. This therapy treatment is also well known by brachytherapy. This treatment needs to have repeated therapies across several days and weeks. But the good thing is people don't feel any discomfort during this treatment. The process of this treatment is decided based on the type of cancer.

How is Radiation treatment done?

Radiation treatment is done while you lie down on the machines table/couch in a certain position that the doctor decides for you for around 10-20 minutes depending on the radiation plan for you.The machine moves around you, without touching you, or causing any pain, pressure, heat or cold. The same process has to be repeated as many times as the doctor has planned for you according to your disease.

What Are the side effects of this treatment?

Radiation therapy treatment is a local treatment which means it affects only the part or area that is being treated with radiation. So whatever side effects are there will be in that area only and not in other parts of the body. It may cause feeling of vomiting, skin darkening in area of radiation or other effects depending on the body organ receiving treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Dr. Aditi Aggarwal has worked in radiation oncology for ten years, treating patients with thoracic cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, bone and soft tissue cancer, gynecological cancer, breast cancer, and neurological cancers.

As a medical doctor, Dr. Aditi Aggarwal holds an MBBS degree from Lady Hardinge Medical College Delhi, a MD degree in radiation oncology from VMMC and Safdarjang Hospital Delhi, as well as a post-doctoral diploma in cancer research from Catalyst Clinical Sciences in Pune.

Cancer is usually classified into four stages, with stage 0 being the earliest stage and stage IV being the most advanced. The stage of a cancer is an important factor in determining the prognosis and the best treatment options. Here's a brief overview of the different stages of cancer:

Stage 0: This is the earliest stage of cancer, and it refers to cancer that is still in its original place and has not spread to other parts of the body. It is also known as carcinoma in situ.

Stage I: This stage means that the cancer is still small and has not spread to other parts of the body. It may be treatable with surgery or other local treatments.

Stage II: At this stage, the cancer is larger and may have spread to nearby lymph nodes. It may be treated with surgery and/or radiation therapy, or other systemic treatments such as chemotherapy.

Stage III: This stage means that the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or organs and/or to distant lymph nodes. Treatment may involve a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and/or systemic treatments such as chemotherapy.

Stage IV: This is the most advanced stage of cancer, and it means that the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, bones, or brain. Treatment at this stage is typically palliative, meaning that it aims to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life, rather than cure the cancer.

It's important to note that the staging of cancer can vary between different types of cancer and different systems used to classify the stages. Your healthcare provider can give you more information specific to your situation.

There is no single vaccine that can prevent or cure all types of cancer. However, some vaccines can help prevent certain viral infections that can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which can help prevent HPV-related cancers such as cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancer.

Additionally, some cancers can be treated with a type of immunotherapy called cancer vaccines, which help stimulate the body's own immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. These vaccines are still in the experimental stage and are only available through clinical trials.

However, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer, such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco products, and getting regular cancer screenings. Your healthcare provider can give you more information on how to reduce your risk of cancer.

The symptoms of cancer can vary depending on the type and part of the body of cancer, as well as its stage. Some common symptoms of cancer include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain that does not go away
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Skin changes, such as yellowing or darkening
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Persistent coughing or trouble breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent hoarseness or sore throat
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as bloating or abdominal pain
  • Menstrual changes in women
  • Persistent skin changes, such as yellowing or darkening
  • Changes in a wart or mole
  • Persistent headaches
  • Persistent bone or joint pain
  • Persistent fatigue or weakness
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting

It's important to keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, and not all of them are present in all cases of cancer. If you are experiencing any symptoms that are new or persist for a long time, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the cause and get appropriate medical attention. Early detection and treatment of cancer can often lead to better outcomes.

Through us, you can schedule a Dr. Aditi Aggarwal priority appointment. Request a callback or dial 7982047515 to reach us.