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Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment. It uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading. About half of all cancer patients receive it. The radiation may be external, from special machines, or internal, from radioactive substances that a doctor places inside your body. The type of radiation therapy you receive depends on many factors, including

  • The type of cancer
  • The size of the cancer
  • The cancer's location in the body
  • How close the cancer is to normal tissues that are sensitive to radiation
  • How far into the body the radiation needs to travel
  • Your general health and medical history
  • Whether you will have other types of cancer treatment
  • Other factors, such as your age and other medical conditions

Radiation therapy can damage normal cells as well as cancer cells. Treatment must be carefully planned to minimize side effects. Common side effects include skin changes and fatigue. Other side effects depend on the part of your body being treated.

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Illustration of intraveneous and machine radiation therapy
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  1. Radiation Therapy (National Library of Medicine)  
    Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment. It uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and stop ... doctor places inside your body. The type of radiation therapy you receive depends on many factors, including The ...
  2. Stereotactic radiotherapy; SRT; Stereotactic body radiotherapy; SBRT; Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy; SRS ... being treated. As compared to other types of radiation therapy, CyberKnife treatment is much less likely to damage ...
  3. Radiation Therapy: Professions in Radiation Therapy (American College of Radiology) (Radiological Society of North America)  
    Professions in: Radiation Therapy Radiation Oncologist Medical Radiation Physicist Radiation Therapist Dosimetrist Radiation Oncology Nurse Social Worker Dietitian Radiation Oncologist Radiation oncologists ...
  4. Radiotherapy ... radiation is most harmful to quickly growing cells, radiation therapy damages cancer cells more than normal cells. This ...
  5. ... Caregivers" /></a> Consumer Summary – Nov. 30, 2010 Understanding Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer: A Guide for ... This guide is only about radiation therapy. Understanding Radiation Therapy What is radiation therapy? How radiation treats your ...
  6. Stereotactic radiotherapy; stereotactic radiosurgery; SRT; Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy; SRS ... being treated. As compared to other types of radiation therapy, Gamma Knife treatment is much less likely to ...
  7. Gallbladder Cancer: Radiation Therapy (American Cancer Society)  
    ... gallbladder cancer Next Topic Chemotherapy for gallbladder cancer Radiation therapy for gallbladder cancer Radiation therapy uses high-energy ... higher dose to the cancer areas. Uses of radiation therapy Radiation therapy may be used in several ways ...
  8. Radiation Therapy (Nemours Foundation)  
    ... how to cope with side effects. What Is Radiation Therapy? Cancer is a disease that causes cells to ... at the cancer. Continue What Happens During External Radiation Therapy? People who are having external radiation treatments usually ...
  9. Radiation Therapy (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)  
    ... have many questions and concerns about it. About Radiation Therapy In radiation therapy, high-energy radiation from X- ... best for your child. What Happens During External Radiation Therapy Receiving radiation therapy for cancer treatment isn't ...
  10. Radiation Therapy: Additional Treatment Options (American Society for Radiation Oncology)  
    ... infections. This is refered to as immunotherapy . Intraoperative Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy given during surgery is called intraoperative ... novel targeted therapies can act as radiosensitizers. Systemic Radiation Therapy Certain cancers may be treated by swallowing radioactive ...
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