Explaining Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment

In this video from Macmillan Cancer Support, oncologist Dr. Vincent Khoo from the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, U.K., talks about using radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) to treat cancer.

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Dr. Khoo explains that radiation therapy uses high energy X-ray beams to target cancer cells and stop them from growing. Radiation therapy can be used as a potential cure or as a palliative therapy to provide pain relief in advanced cases of cancer.

The X-ray beams impact the cancer cells’ ability to divide, but will also affect nearby healthy tissue. To prevent excessive damage to healthy tissues, doctors have to shape the radiation field to match the shape of the tumor and to very precisely target where the beams will enter the body. Radiation therapy is often given in short doses five times a week over a period of between five and eight weeks.

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8 comments

  1. Lawrence Glickman says:

    This is a very very incomplete description of radiation/radio therapy. Some new techniques require only a few treatments. There are many different type of machines some using robotics and MRI assist. Many Doctors merely explain the machine and treatments that they have at hand. Beware!!

    • Tim Bossie says:

      That’s true Lawrence, this is just one explanation… one quick explanation. There are newer machines and robots that can do amazing things as technology continues to evolve.

  2. Thomas B Fowler says:

    I agree that this post does tell us much, if anything. I have received the 8 week therapy…and I am having difficulty recovering….what is going on?

  3. Harold Grieves says:

    It would be helpful to know which institutions have the best machinery. One thing I find difficult is picking the right place to go. I live in a rural area, have very low grade cancer so have some time. Hopefully my problems won’t progress, but if they do I want to have a strategy formulated about where to go and how to approach it. These days there is more to picking a clinic than just the Dr’s that practice there. It’s also the machinery and the other resources.

  4. Michael J Madrid says:

    Pathrtically simplistic and avoids QoLissues.Should be removed for being to simplistic.I know a hell of lot more.This is for first graders.Utter Briish BS and that does not stand for Bachelor of Surgery.

  5. Thomas B Fowler says:

    The post promised explanation…but it does not explain the effects of radiation therapy. Please find someone to follow this up with a good article…please!

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