Categories: Radiation Oncology

Radiation Therapy: Advancement in cancer care

What is Radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy is the treatment of cancer using high-energy rays such as x-rays and gamma rays.

Radiation therapy has a crucial role in cancer treatment. In recent decades, radiation therapy has evolved to provide more accurate results, as well as enabling the safe use of higher levels of radiation without harmful side effects.

Use of Radiation therapy:

  • Radical therapy (when treatment is possible only with radiotherapy alone)
  • Adjuvant therapy (used post-surgery to sterilize a surgical site and remove the remaining cancer cells)
  • Neoadjuvant therapy (used before surgery to reduce the tumour size and sterilize the surrounding area)

Radiation is also used to treat symptoms such as bleeding and pain and enables the patient to live a life of normalcy. Radiotherapy becomes more effective when used with chemotherapy in particular cases.

Types of Radiation Therapy:

1) External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) or teletherapy: The radiation machine delivers x-ray, gamma-ray, protons or heavy ions from the outside of the body.

2) Internal radiation therapy or Brachytherapy: Radioactive small sources are placed or implanted near or within the tumour site.

In recent decades, radiotherapy side effects have been significantly reduced, thanks to a technique called “Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT)”. In IMRT, multiple actively modulated beams are used more closely around the affected area and thereby minimizing the surrounding areas from getting exposed to radiation.

Surgery or Radiosurgery:

Radiosurgery is a surgery using radiation to destroy specific areas of cancerous tissue using ionizing radiation instead of conventional surgery that uses excision with a blade.

More patients are opting for radiosurgery due to its multiple benefits. Radiosurgery is noninvasive and equally effective like surgery in certain situations. It provides better results and quicker recovery time. But radiosurgery cannot fully replace conventional surgery. The surgical team will decide on which surgery is better suited for particular patients.

Particle Beam Therapy:

This is the next evolving phase of cancer treatment technology and among the most advanced cancer treatment options available today. Particle beam therapy uses proton beams rather than x-rays to treat cancer. A proton is a positively charged particle. At high energy, protons can destroy cancer cells. X-rays enter and leave the body from the other side, but a proton beam can be controlled on how much exactly the beam can penetrate in the body. Proton therapy is gaining popularity to tackle different challenges of cancer treatment.

Narayana Health follows international standards to offer the latest forms of radiotherapy treatment.

The cancer treatment at Narayana Health involves every type of radiation therapy from some of the most experienced and expert radiation oncologists in India. Some of the radiotherapy techniques used include Brachytherapy, IGRT, IMRT, VMAT, SRS, SRT. 

Narayana Health

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