Thursday, December 14, 2017 22:38

Treatment Of Cancer By Radiotherapy

Posted by on Thursday, September 10, 2009, 11:39
This news item was posted in General category and has 1 Comment so far.

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is the second most valuable member of cancer treatments. Used alone it can cure a variety of tumors, and used as an adjunct to surgery or to chemotherapy in can improve the chances of cure for many more.

The side effects are rarely overwhelming severe and can be controlled by competent doctoring. It is true that some common tumors, such as cancers of the stomach colon, are virtually unaffected by radiotherapy, but this fact serves to emphasize its value in the treatment of cancers at many other sites.

The effect of radiotherapy on tissues is mainly to damage and destroy dividing cells. There is also another affect, which may be almost as important in the treatment of cancer. This is to damage the ground substance of the whole field for the tumor cells hat have survived the initial assault.

Because many tumor cells are dividing at a higher rate than the cells of the normal tissues, the radiation inflicts more damage on the tumor than in the normal tissues. Also, the more rapidly proliferating, the more anaplastic, and the more indifferently the tumor, the more likely will it be to respond to radiation.

It seems paradoxical that it isĀ  the most malignant tumors that respond best to radiotherapy treatment. Slowly growing tumors respond poorly to radiotherapy, they are said to be radiation resistant. To inflict sufficient radiation damage on such a tumor would result in intolerable damage to the normal tissues.

Radiotherapy may be employed in certain situations as the only form of treatment, or as an adjunct to surgery, given either preoperatively, to shrink the main tumor and to limit the spreading tendency of peripheral cells. or post operatively, to mop up any tumor cells left behind at surgery, or it may be used in combination with chemotheraupic regimes. It may be radical, with use of high doses in the hope of effecting a cure, or palliative, with use of smaller doses given to achieve some symptoms relief.

The general side effects of radiation therapy depend upon the volume of the tissue that is irradiated. They will be completely absent in, for example, treatment of a smaller cancer of the lip, but may be quite disabling in radiation treatment of cancer of the breast, where we are also forced to expose to radiation the underlying lung and rib cage, right through to the shoulder blade.

These effects comprise feelings of lassitude and very often nausea, sometimes proceeding to vomiting, they gradually disappear when the course of radiotherapy is terminated.

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1 Response to “Treatment Of Cancer By Radiotherapy”

  1. y3 shoes
    6 October, 2009, 9:47

    Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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