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What is Radiation Therapy and How is it effective in treating Cancer?

Cancer is one of the primary causes of death around the world. It is estimated that 1 in 6 deaths are caused by cancer. Prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers account for 43 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in men in 2020.

Cancer can affect any significant part of the human body, and it is often treated with radiation therapy. This blog post will discuss radiation therapy and help you in understanding the effectiveness of radiation treatment.

Also Read: How to prevent cancer? 10 ways to reduce risks of Cancer

What is Radiation Therapy?

The treatment uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, making it difficult for them to grow and multiply. Radiation therapy can treat many different types of cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.

Here’s how it works:

The therapy uses high-energy X-rays or particles to damage the DNA of cancer cells. It makes it difficult for them to grow and multiply.

The treatment aims to kill as many cancer cells as possible while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. The therapy can treat cancer that has spread to other body parts.

There are two types of radiation therapy: external beam radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy.

Also Read: What is cancer and what are its causes?

External beam uses a machine to direct high-energy rays at cancer. Internal radiation, also called brachytherapy, uses radioactive material placed directly into the tumour.

Benefits of Radiation Therapy

1) Helps To Shrink Cancer Cells

When high doses of radiation are targeted at cancer cells, it helps shrink them—the radiation damages the DNA inside the cells, which prevents them from growing.

The therapy is a safe and effective treatment for cancer. It has been used for cancer for over 100 years.

2) Stimulates The Immune System

An immune system is a powerful tool in the fight against cancer. Radiation can help stimulate the immune system, working to kill cancer cells.

 The therapy works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells. It makes it challenging for them to reproduce and grow. Over time, this can lead to the death of cancer cells. For example, if a cancer cell can only multiply two times before it dies, each treatment kills half of the remaining cells. After four treatments, there will be only one-sixteenth of the original number of cancer cells remaining.

Also Read: Causes Of Leukemia and Prevention

The therapy is effective when combined with other cancer treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.

3) Fewer Side Effects

The treatment has fewer side effects than other cancer treatments. It specifically targets cancer cells and does not damage healthy cells.

Some common side effects can include:


-skin reactions

-nausea and vomiting


-loss of appetite

These side effects are temporary, and most will go away once treatment is finished. Radiation therapy does not cause hair loss.

Some types of therapy can have long-term side effects, but this is rare. Your radiation oncologist will discuss your treatment’s risks and side effects with you.

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Cancer is a severe disease that can be hard to treat. However, the treatment option is a very effective option that can help to improve the quality of life for cancer patients. If you or someone you may know has cancer, talk to a doctor about the therapy and understand the benefits of radiation treatment.

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Feature Image credits: WordDisk

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