5 Cancers That Can Be Treated with Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses a particular kind of high-energy beam to destroy cancer cells and it can be done internally or externally. It is considered a cost-effective cancer treatment that can be used either after or before surgery. It is administered in an out-patient basis and use to treat different types of cancer. Some of these include the following:
- Breast Cancer
It is the most common type of cancer that uses radiation therapy as treatment. Usually, doctors will recommend this after lumpectomy. This is to lower the risk of cancer recurrence. The treatment will be given to patient several weeks after the surgery to allow the body to recover. This can be done in addition to chemotherapy based on doctor’s advice. Since radiation will pass through your skin, it is normal to experience redness and swollenness in the skin. These side effects are just temporary and will eventually heal in four to six weeks.
- Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is a deadly illness that can affect both men and women. Those who smoke have higher risk of lung cancer and even those who are exposed to smoking passively may also develop this disease. Lung cancer comes in two types – non-small cell cancers and small cells lung cancer. These two grow and spread in different ways.
It can be treated through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Getting the combination of these treatments is sometimes necessary and advisable to fully remove the cancer cells in the body. Once you undergo radiation therapy, you might experience sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, cough, chest pain, and hair loss.
- Prostate Cancer
Radiation therapy or also known as radical radiotherapy is widely used to treat prostate cancer. It uses high levels of radiation to eliminate cancer cells. It reduces the growth of the cell while minimizing the damage to the good and healthy cells. This treatment is highly effective and considered as less invasive than prostatectomy. However, it comes with several side effects including long-term bowel issues, and infertility and erection problems.
- Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer only affects women and the illness is arising from the cervix. Radiation therapy is one option to treat this type of cancer. It can be done through internal or external therapy. Those who undergo this treatment experienced several side effects including vaginal bleeding, diarrhea, irritable bladder and soreness on the vulva.
- Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is not as common as breast cancer and it can affect both men and women and even children. Radiation therapy is one of the effective options to address skin cancer especially if affected area is large and if surgery is not possible. It is also a good option to those who do not want to undergo surgery. However, this treatment can also be given after the surgery. Side effects of the radiotherapy for skin cancer includes skin irritation and peeling, change in the skin colour and hair loss on treated skin areas. This treatment is known to be effective but with long exposure to radiation therapy, the side effects may get worse.