Radiation therapy is one of the most effective ways to combat cancer. It works by focusing beams of ionizing radiation on the cancerous growth or implanting radioactive sources in the cancerous area.
Advantages of Radiation Therapy include:
- A precisely targeted area is treated so that there is minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue
- External beam radiation therapy is a noninvasive, painless procedure so no knives, needles or anesthetics involved
- Radiation therapy is performed on an outpatient basis, without the need for a hospital stay
- The typical course of treatment is over a two- to eight-week period, Monday through Friday
Radiation therapy can be used alone or in combination with other treatments, such as surgery and anti-cancer drugs. Radiation is most often used to cure cancer; however, for incurable stages it can be a highly effective way to reduce pain, pressure or bleeding, or to control the growth of a tumor in a localized area. Stereotactic radiosurgery (a single, high-dose “pinpoint” treatment) is a viable option for certain conditions.