Understanding Radiation Oncology / Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment
Radiation Oncology or Radiation Therapy is widely used as treatment for cancer. It can be use alone or in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy. It can either be done before surgery to reduce the tumour or after the surgery to address remaining cancer cells.
Just like other medical treatments, radiation therapy has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Radiation Therapy for Cancer
Some of the advantages include the following:
It slows down cancer growth.
Radiation Oncology has proven to help many cancer patients. For those who have growing tumour, the treatment will help to reduce the size of the tumour, allowing surgery to be possible. Aside from shrinking the tumour, this treatment also provides relief to several cancer symptoms such as pain.
It helps reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.
After surgery, cancer patients especially those who have lumpectomy and mastectomy are still exposed to the risk of cancer recurrence. Thus, it is advisable to undergo further treatment to prevent it. Radiation therapy effective treatment to treat remaining cancer cells after the tumour has been remove. In fact, this treatment is recommended to most people.
It is a cost-effective option.
Aside from the fact that radiation therapy is effective, it is also a wise option if you look at the total cost. Unlike other treatments, it can be done shortly and after the treatment, you can continue with your usual activity. There is no need for you to pay for hospital admission and you can also minimize productivity loss.
It is administered on out-patient basis.
Aside from the expenses, spending even a night in the hospital gives people a negative feeling. Luckily, with radiation therapy, there is no need to stay in the hospital. The treatment can be administered in less than an hour. Some is done in less than 15 minutes and you can leave the hospital or clinic right after the treatment. Most people find radiation oncology to have a minimal effect on their daily routine.
Treats wide range of cancers.
Radiation therapy can be used as treatment to different types of cancer. It is effective to treat patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, cervical cancer and many more. For those who have lumpectomy, this treatment is advisable especially if the cancer is still at early stage and the surgery was done in one site.
Almost all of the cancer patients who undergo surgery have a high risk of recurrence. Many are then advised to have radiation therapy to completely eliminate the remaining cancer cells. However, this treatment is not advisable to few patients especially if they are pregnant, have already radiation in their system or have existing connective tissue diseases such as vasculitis or scleroderma.
An Oncologist is the right person to discuss this cancer treatment, highlight its pros and cons and to determine if you are a good candidate to receive this treatment. If you are not ready to have this treatment, talk to your Oncologist for any other possible treatment options.