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What Is Radiotherapy Treatment?

What Is Radiotherapy Treatment?



Radiotherapy
, or radiation therapy, is a medical procedure employing powerful radiation to pinpoint and eliminate irregular or cancerous cells within the body. Its mechanism involves impairing the DNA of the specific cells under scrutiny, thereby halting their ability to increase and divide.

The primary purpose of radiotherapy is to treat cancer. Radiotherapy is typically delivered in multiple sessions (fractions) over several weeks, each lasting a few minutes. A radiotherapy mask is provided to the patients to keep their heads still and ensure treatment is directed at the cancer.

Types Of Radiotherapy Treatment


 

Radiation therapy is predominantly categorized into two main types: external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and internal radiation therapy.

External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT)

External Beam Radiotherapy involves using high-energy X-ray or photon beams generated by a linear accelerator. These beams are directed from outside the patient's body and are precisely targeted at the tumor. EBRT is versatile and is employed to treat a wide range of cancers in the early stages and as part of palliative care for advanced cases. Within EBRT, various techniques ensure precise targeting while minimizing harm to healthy tissues. These techniques include Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), and Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).

Internal Radiotherapy (Brachytherapy)

Brachytherapy entails inserting radioactive sources directly within or close to the tumor. These sources emit radiation to treat the cancer from within the body. Brachytherapy is frequently used for cancers in areas where external radiation therapy may not be as effective or where it's essential to spare nearby healthy tissues. Brachytherapy can be categorized into two primary types: Low-Dose Rate (LDR) and High-Dose Rate (HDR).

  • LDR brachytherapy involves the implantation of radioactive seeds or sources that remain in the body for an extended period (days to months). This is typically useful for prostate cancer.
  • HDR brachytherapy involves temporarily placing highly radioactive sources for a short duration during each treatment session. This approach is frequently utilized in the treatment of gynecological cancers, head and neck, and breast cancers.

Radiotherapy For Cancer

Radiotherapy for cancer is multifaceted, playing a significant part in various aspects of cancer management. Here are three radiotherapy treatments for cancer in Istanbul.

Primary Treatment

In some cases, radiotherapy serves as the primary treatment for cancer. This is particularly relevant when surgical removal of the tumor is not possible or when the tumor is highly responsive to radiation.

Adjuvant Treatment

Radiotherapy can be used as an adjuvant treatment following surgery. This eradicates any residual cancer cells that may have been overlooked during surgery. Adjuvant radiotherapy aims to minimize the likelihood of cancer recurrence within the surgical region.

Neoadjuvant Treatment

On occasion, radiotherapy is given before surgery. This neoadjuvant approach is employed to shrink large or locally advanced tumors, making them more manageable to remove surgically. Neoadjuvant radiotherapy can improve surgical outcomes and increase the likelihood of a complete tumor resection.

You might have inquiries such as how long after radiotherapy will I feel better? You may reach out to us with such questions and be informed.

Radiotherapy Vs Chemotherapy

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are two primary cancer treatment modalities in Istanbul, each with distinct mechanisms and applications. Radiotherapy utilizes high-energy radiation to target and damage cancer cells, specifically in the treatment area, offering high precision and minimal collateral damage to surrounding healthy tissue. It is typically applied for localized cancer, with the potential to be curative or palliative.

In contrast, chemotherapy is a systemic approach that uses drugs circulating through the bloodstream to attack rapidly dividing cancer cells at both primary and distant sites. Chemotherapy's systemic effects can result in a wider range of side effects, making it suitable for systemic and palliative treatment, especially in advanced or metastatic cancer.

The choice between radiotherapy and chemotherapy is influenced by factors such as the cancer type, stage, location, and the overall health of the patient, and in many cases, they are used together to achieve the most effective treatment outcomes.

Effectiveness Of Radiotherapy