Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is one of the most common treatments for tumors and cancers. In this therapy, high-energy rays or particles such as gamma rays, x-rays, protons or electron beams are used to target and destroy the cancerous and tumor cells in the body. This therapy can treat a large number of cancers which include prostate breast, thyroid cancer and more.
Following are the benefits of radiation therapy for the treatment of cancers and tumors.
Unlike other treatments of cancer such as chemotherapy which spreads all over the body and causes equal damage of healthy body cells, radiation therapy is restricted to a particular body location where tumor or cancer exists. Because of this limited approach, the surrounding healthy cells of the body are safe from the harmful effects of radiations.
Effective for the Treatment of Localized Cancer
Those tumors which haven’t metastasized i.e. they haven’t spread to other body areas can be effectively treated via radiation therapy alone. This is because radiotherapy delivers precise doses of tumor-destroying radiations right at the cancer site. The effect of these doses is very strong on the cancerous cells because the radiation rays are not diverted or diverged to any other body area. Hence, their potent localized action destroys the localized tumor cells effectively.
Radiation therapy doesn’t cause any scarring on the body. In rare cases, very minimal skin scarring is observed but these scars are not permanent and fade away with time. All in all, radiation therapy causes minimal cosmetic damage to the patient’s body.
Treating Delicate Body Areas
Since radiation therapy is a highly localized procedure, it’s used to target tumors and cancers in extremely delicate areas like nose, ears, eyes, and mouth.
Use as an Adjuvant Therapy
Radiation therapy is also used in combination with other treatment options for cancers like chemotherapy in order to optimize the effectiveness of the treatment. The synergistic effect of both therapies rapidly destroys the cancerous cells and slows down their multiplication in the body.
Use As Palliative Treatment
Radiation therapy is also used as a palliative treatment when complete elimination of cancer is not possible from the body. Radiation therapy as palliative treatment works to shrink the rapidly growing cancer or tumor in order to stop it from metastasizing, and relieves symptoms such as extreme pain and inflammation.
Used Before and After the Surgical Procedure
Radiation therapy also assists in the treatment of those tumors which need to be removed via surgery. In such cases, radiation therapy is applied before the surgical procedure to shrink the tumor size and it’s used after the surgery to destroy any remaining cancerous cells which can multiply in future.
Less Time Consuming
Radiation therapy sessions are less time-consuming as compared to other cancer treatments. These sessions usually take less than one hour. Sometimes, the session can be as small as fifteen minutes. Also, there’s no requirement of hospital stay as radiotherapy is a completely outpatient procedure.