What is radiation therapy?

Before you undergo external beam radiation therapy, your health care team guides you through a planning process to ensure that radiation reaches the precise spot in your body where it's needed. Planning typically includes: Radiation simulation. During simulation your radiation therapy team works with you to find a comfortable position for you during treatment. It's imperative that you lie still during treatment, so finding a comfortable position is vital. To do this, you'll lie on the same type of table that's used during radiation therapy. Cushions and restraints are used to position you in the right way and to help you hold still. Your radiation therapy team will mark the area of your body that will receive the radiation. Depending on your situation, you may receive temporary marking with a marker or you may receive permanent tattoos.; Planning scans. Your radiation therapy team may have you undergo X-rays or computerized tomography (CT) scans to determine the area of your body to be treated.

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Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses beams of high-energy X-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy is also called radiotherapy or X-ray therapy.

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Radiation is a form of energy released in particles or waves. In high doses, radiation destroys cells or keeps them from multiplying. Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment. Its goal is to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Unlike cancer cells, most of your normal cells recover from radiation therapy. Doctors try to protect normal cells by limiting the radiation dosage and spreading treatment out over time. When they use radiation machines, they shield as much of your body as possible while targeting the cancer.

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Radiotherapy is used to treat conditions such as cancer, thyroid disorders and some blood disorders.

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Treats itchy skin caused by psoriasis, seborrhea, dandruff, or other conditions. Some forms of this medicine treat scaling and dry skin, which may cause itching.

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Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic touch (TT) was developed by Delores Krieger, R.N., Ph.D., and Dora Kunz, a natural healer, in the early 1970s. Therapeutic touch is a modern adaptation of several religious and secular healing traditions and is most commonly used in nursing practice for a wide range of health conditions.

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Therapeutic drug monitoring

Therapeutic drug monitoring is the measurement of specific drugs at intervals in order to maintain a relatively constant concentration of the medication in the bloodstream. Drugs that are monitored tend to have a narrow therapeutic range &ndash, the quantity required to be effective is not far removed from the quantity that causes significant side effects and/or signs of toxicity. Maintaining this steady state is not as simple as giving a standard dose of medication. Each person will absorb, metabolize, utilize, and eliminate drugs at a different rate based upon their age, general state of health, genetic makeup, and the interference of other medications that they are taking. This rate may change over time and vary from day to day.

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Radiation therapy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Radiation therapy (in the USA), radiation oncology, or radiotherapy (in the UK, Canada and Australia), sometimes abbreviated to XRT, is the medical use of ...

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Radiation Therapy for Cancer - National Cancer Institute

A fact sheet that defines the different types of radiation therapy and discusses scientific advances that improve the effectiveness of this treatment.

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Radiation Therapy (Radiotherapy) - Cancer Treatment Information by ...

Mar 15, 2011 ... Learn about radiation therapy for cancer treatment, types of radiotherapy and common side effects.

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RadiologyInfo - Radiation Therapy

Easy to understand information about radiation therapy, treatment options, what happens during therapy, possible side effects and more from the Radiological ...

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Cancer cells usually multiply faster than other cells in the body. Because radiation is most harmful to rapidly growing cells, radiation therapy damages cancer cells more than normal cells. Specifically, radiation therapy damages the DNA of cancer cells. Doing so prevents the cancer cells from growing and dividing. Unfortunately, certain healthy cells can also be killed by this process. The death of healthy cells can lead to side effects.

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If you're receiving radiation to a tumor, your doctor may have you undergo periodic scans after your treatment to see how your cancer has responded to radiation therapy. In some cases your cancer may respond to treatment right away. In other cases it may take weeks or months for your cancer to respond. Some people aren't helped by radiation therapy.

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Side effects of radiation therapy greatly depend on which part of your body is being exposed to radiation and how much radiation is used. You may experience no side effects, or you may experience several. Most side effects are temporary, can be controlled and generally disappear over time once treatment has ended.

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What you can expect
External beam radiation therapy is conducted using a linear accelerator a machine that directs high-energy beams of radiation into your body. As you lie on a table, the linear accelerator moves around you to deliver radiation from several angles. The linear accelerator can be adjusted for your particular situation so that it delivers the precise dose of radiation your doctor has ordered.

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Why it's done
About half of all people with cancer receive radiation therapy as part of their cancer treatment. Doctors use radiation therapy to treat just about every type of cancer. Radiation therapy is also useful in treating some noncancerous (benign) tumors.

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