Radiation oncology or radiation therapy is an approach that helps to treat cancer using high doses of radiation. It kills the cancer cells and shrinks the tumor. A low dose radiation oncology is often used to see through the body. It works the same way the x-ray of teeth and broken bones work.
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The working of radiation oncology
Radiation oncology kills the cancer cells and slows down their growth by damaging their DNA. The cancer cells with damaged DNA can further stop dividing. Later, they are broken by the body.
Radiation therapy or radiation oncology doesn’t kill the cancer cells right away. It may take a few weeks and days to treat the cells before the radiation oncology affects the DNA and causes the cancer cells to die. After applying radiation oncology, the cancer cells keep dying for weeks and after the therapy ends.
How important is it to receive radiation oncology for cancer patients?
Radiation therapy treats cancer and eases cancer symptoms. Radiation oncology can cure cancer and can also prevent it from returning. It slows down the growth of rapidly multiplying cancer cells. There are certain types of treatments called palliative treatment. It eases the symptoms of cancer and its growth. There is also a term called external beam radiation. It helps to treat pain and shrink the tumors. It helps to fight the symptoms like loss of bowel and bladder control, trouble in breathing, etc. Your doctor may also recommend radiopharmaceuticals that may help attacking the cancer cells.
Radiation Oncology and the type of Cancer
External beam radiation can treat a variety of cancer and their types. There is a therapy called Brachytherapy. This therapy treats cancers like head and neck cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and eye cancer. Another form of radiation therapy called systemic radiation therapy is used to treat patients who have aggressive prostate cancer, or gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (GEP-NET). This type of treatment is often known as molecular radiotherapy.
Use of radiation oncology with other types of treatments
For some people, radiation oncology or treatment may not be the only solution that they may require. This may require a combination of treatments (along with radiation oncology) such as surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Radiation therapy may also be given before or after the treatment . This may further help to improve the chances of effective treatment. Moreover, the timing of radiation oncology depends on the type of cancer. It also undertakes the goals of the therapy, the cancer treatments, and other symptoms. Moreover, radiation oncology can be given:
- Before the surgery: The radiation oncology before the surgery helps to shrink the size of cancer cells. The patient is later given the surgery which help to remove the cancer cells. This may affect the cancer cells and may prevent them from returning.
- During the surgery: Direct use of radiation oncology during the cancer surgery helps remove the cancer cells without creating the chance to affect the skin. With the use of this technique, doctors can easily protect the nearby normal tissues from radiation.
- After the surgery: the radiation oncology applied after the surgery helps to kill the cancer cells if there remains any.
Moreover, there is a limit to the amount of area where radiation oncology can be applied. You may not be able to use radiation oncology for that area for the second time. In case, one area of the body has already received a lifetime dose of radiation oncology, another area can also be treated if the distance between two areas is large enough.
Radiation therapy can cause side effects. It may also affect the normal cells of the body. This is why doctors recommend radiation therapy once a week with minimum time to recover.
Cost of Radiation Oncology
Radiation oncology may be costly. It may utilize complex machines that may affect the nearby healthy cells. The exact cost of radiation oncology depends on the cost of the healthcare provider or the area where you live. It also depends on the type of radiation therapy you are getting from your doctor. Regarding this case, you can talk to your insurance company. They may help you pay for the treatment. You can talk to the business office at the clinic or the hospital where you are expecting your treatment. In case you need any financial assistance, many organizations are supporting the same. Moreover, you can also connect with Credihealth, which serves you with medical loans, ordering medicines, connecting with doctors through teleconsultation, etc.
What can you expect from radiation oncology?
Some people can work after getting radiation oncology. Others can work only part-time. Moreover, it depends on the overall health of the patient. You can consult your doctor if you can resume your normal life after receiving radiation oncology.
You may likely feel well enough after receiving your first radiation oncology. As time goes on, you may feel surprised as you can feel tiredness, less energy, and weak from inside. It may take a few weeks or months to get back to a normal routine.
You may also get certain conditions where you may feel tired while being at work. In that case, you can talk to your employer and can ask for immediate leave. You can also consult your health insurance services provider.
Sarvodya Hospital is an associate partner of Credihealth. Credihealth gives you the facilities like an early appointment with certified doctors, consulting medications, tele or video consultation with doctors, and ordering medicines. You can give a missed call @ 8010-994-994 or write an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org