When it comes to battling cancer, doctors have several tools in their arsenal to help and it’s all thanks to modern medicine. Along with chemotherapy, they can also use controlled radiation (x-rays and other beams) to target cancer cells.
While radiation therapy can be effective (part of 40-percent of all cancer cures worldwide, according to Targeting Cancer) there are some things to know about it. It’s also a good idea to be prepared for possible side effects so you’re not caught off-guard. Let’s zero in on some more details about this therapy…
What Is Radiation Therapy?
Targeting Cancer explains that radiation therapy — which is also called radiotherapy — uses “high-energy x-rays (photons), gamma rays, electron beams or protons, to damage the DNA in cells located in very specific areas of the body.”
The source notes that cancer cells do not have the ability to repair the damage caused by the radiation, whereas non-cancer cells can recover more effectively. Not only does it kill off the cancer cells, but it also helps stop them from spreading and multiplying.