What is Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy is treatment using radiation, such as x-rays and electrons, to kill or damage cancer cells to stop them from growing and multiplying. It can also be used to treat a variety of benign (non-cancerous) diseases.
Radiation therapy is a localised treatment; it mostly only works on the area being treated. The process can range from a single session to multiple sessions lasting up to 8 weeks, depending on a number of things such as the type of cancer and cancer stage.
Radiation therapy kills the cancer cells in the area being treated. The radiation damages the DNA (genetic code) of cancer cells which makes them unable to grow or divide.
Although normal cells receive radiation as well, they are usually more resistant than cancer cells to damage. The amount of normal cells receiving radiation is also minimised with careful planning and modern equipment.
How does Radiation Therapy fit with other cancer treatments?
Radiation therapy is often given in conjunction with chemotherapy or surgery. Approximately half of all people with cancer are treated with radiation therapy. Radiation Oncologists can give patients advice about the role radiation therapy might play in any particular circumstance.
Radiation Therapy: A patients' story watch the video