Radiation therapy is also known as radiotherapy or radiosurgery. Radiation therapy treatments utilize proton beams or high-energy x-rays for destroying cancerous cells. Doctors who oversee radiation therapy treatments for cancer are known as radiation oncologists. Radiation therapy treatments are nowadays commonly recommended as primary cancer treatments in several cases. However, in many other cases radiation therapy is applied as adjuvant therapy and follows surgery or chemotherapy. Radiotherapy in such instances is targeted for destroying cancerous cells that are remaining after primary treatment.
Types of External Beam Radiotherapy Treatment
Application of radiotherapy treatment usually depends upon the type and location of the cancer. There are many different types of radiation therapy treatments available to cancer patients including the ones mentioned below.
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) – This type of radiosurgery treatment gives shape to energy-beams and is able to give different amount of doses to different parts of the patient’s body.
Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) – This application of radiotherapy uses images which are taken prior to the start of treatment in order to show shape, size and location of the tumor.
Stereotactic Radiotherapy – This is a type of radiation therapy which utilizes several small beams of energy from different angles in order to target the tumor.
Total Body Irradiation (TBI) – Total body irradiation delivers a single dose of radiation which is applied to the entire body of the patient.
Proton Therapy – This is a type of radiation therapy treatment which uses proton radiation instead of x-rays.
Intraoperative Radiotherapy – This radiation therapy treatment delivers a single dose of radiation while the cancer patient is undergoing surgical removal of the tumor.
However, it is the radiation oncologist and the medical team who will decide as to which type of radiotherapy treatment is most suitable for the patient.
Side Effects of Radiation Therapy Treatments
Radiotherapy is able to effectively treat several types of cancer. However, it can also cause side effects as well and which are different for each person. Side effects generally depend upon the type and location of cancer, the dosage of radiotherapy and the overall health of the patient. Moreover, for some patients, radiation therapy treatments cause few or no side effects at all, while for others they may be severe and last for several weeks following radiotherapy treatment. Since radiation therapy is a local treatment, it mostly affects the area of the body which is located near the tumor. Common side effects associated with radiotherapy treatments include fatigue and skin problems. Long term side effects or late effects associated with radiotherapy include dry mouth, nausea, tooth-decay, shortness in breath, fever, cough, radiation fibrosis, diarrhea and incontinence depending upon where the radiation therapy treatment was targeted.
Advanced and Affordable Radiotherapy Treatments in India
Radiation therapy treatment in India is highly advanced and at par with the best available in the world. India is an excellent medical tourism destination for international patients concerned about the rising cost of healthcare in their homeland and so are seeking good quality of affordable medical procedures in other countries. While cost of advanced and precise radiotherapy treatments like CyberKnife and Gamma Knife are exorbitant in the developed Western countries, India offers a golden opportunity to overseas patients where these are highly affordable. In fact radiotherapy treatments in India cost just a fraction of what patients may end up paying for in other global healthcare destinations. Patients seeking radiation therapy treatments can therefore save substantial amounts of their hard-earned money by undergoing radiotherapy treatments in India.
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