Understanding Radiation Therapy: External Beam, Brachytherapy & Proton Therapy Explained

Radiation Therapy Techniques

Fighting Cancer with Beams: An Overview of Radiation Therapy Methods

One effective weapon in the fight against cancer is radiation therapy. It uses high-energy radiation beams to reduce tumours and stop them from growing by damaging and destroying cancer cells. The three primary radiation therapy modalities covered in this blog are proton therapy, brachytherapy, and external beam radiation. Knowing these strategies can help you make informed decisions as you proceed with your cancer treatment.

Radiation Therapy Techniques

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  1. External Beam Radiation: Targeting from afar Concept: High-energy X-rays or particles are directed towards the tumour site using an external beam radiation system.Radiation Therapy Techniques
    Delivery: The radiation beam is focused on the intended location with the least amount of exposure to adjacent healthy tissues because to the machine’s perfect calibration.
    Applications: Brain tumours, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer are among the cancers for which external beam radiation is frequently employed.
    Methods: The following are developments in external beam radiation:
    With 3D conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), the radiation beam is shaped to fit the contours of the tumour using computer imagery.Radiation Therapy Techniques
    With intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), healthy tissue is spared by varying the radiation beam’s intensity during a single session.
    Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT): To guarantee precise targeting, real-time imaging is used throughout treatment.
  2. Brachytherapy: Up close and personal concept: Radiation material that has been enclosed inside capsules or seeds is positioned inside or close to the tumour location during brachytherapy.
    Delivery: Brachytherapy minimises radiation exposure to neighbouring tissues by localising the delivery of a high radiation dosage.
    Applications: Cervical, prostate, esophageal, and head and neck cancers are among the specific tumours that can benefit from brachytherapy.Radiation Therapy Techniques
    Categories: One uses for brachytherapy is:
    Low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy: Radiation is continually released from implants that are left in place for a long time.
    High-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy involves inserting implants and administering a high radiation dose over a brief, regulated period of time.
  3. A More Accurate Strike Concept for Proton Therapy: A beam of protons, which are charged particles akin to those in atoms, is used in proton therapy to kill cancer cells.
    Benefits: Unlike X-rays, protons have the special ability to accurately deposit their energy at the target region, minimising injury to nearby healthy tissues.
    Applications: Tumours near vital organs such as the brain, eyes, or spinal cord can be effectively treated using proton therapy.Radiation Therapy Techniques
    Accessibility: Since proton therapy is a relatively new treatment, not all medical facilities may have it readily available.

Selecting the Appropriate Method:

Radiation Therapy Techniques

Numerous variables determine the kind of radiation therapy that is administered, such as:

  • Cancer kind and stage: The best approach depends on the cancer’s location, size, and spread.
  • Overall health of the patient: Age, degree of fitness, and existence of additional medical issues are taken into account.
  • Advantages over risks: Your physician will carefully consider the possible advantages and disadvantages of each technique.

Radiation Therapy Techniques
It’s crucial to keep in mind that every radiation therapy method has its benefits and drawbacks. Your doctor can help you decide which course of action is best for your particular circumstances by going over the available options.

Beyond Radiation Therapy: For a more thorough approach, radiation therapy is frequently used in conjunction with other cancer treatments including surgery, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.

Recall that technology related to radiation therapy is always developing, providing better patient results and increased precision.

You may engage more fully in conversations with your doctor regarding the best course of action for your unique situation if you are aware of these various radiation therapy approaches.

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