Hope and Health: Comprehensive Care for Radiation-Related Conditions
Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, is the medical treatment using high-energy radiation to get rid of cancerous cells or inhibit their growth. The therapy works by delivering radiation doses to the cancerous tumor’s site or where cancerous cells have spread.
Radiation works by damaging DNA in the cancerous cells, making them lose their capability to grow and divide. With time, your body’s immunity can help get rid of them.
Types of Radiotherapy
According to experts at UEW Healthcare, there are two categories of radiotherapy. These include brachytherapy and EBRT (external beam radiation therapy). In brachytherapy, sources of radiation get implanted in tumors, either permanently or temporarily.
In EBRT, external radiation sources beam protons/heavy ions or gamma rays/X-rays into the tumor. In today’s oncology, a common external source of radiation is linac (megavoltage linear accelerator), which is equipped with devices that allow accurate targeting of tumors and precise shaping of X-ray photons.
Why Opt for Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy is a vital technique applied to patients with cancer, and in some situations, it is the only solution. Experts can also combine chemotherapy with radiotherapy to attain better results. Among the uses and benefits of radiotherapy include the following:
- Palliative care: Radiotherapy relieves symptoms as well as improves life quality in metastatic or advanced cancers where a cure isn’t possible. It helps to alleviate pain, shrink tumors, control bleeding, and minimize other symptoms related to cancer.
- Adjuvant therapy: Therapy is used following surgery or after other treatments to minimize the risks of cancer recurrence.
- Curative intent: Therapy is used to treat cancer, either as a primary treatment or in conjunction with other effective treatments, like chemotherapy or surgery.
- Localized treatment: Radiotherapy delivers high energy to the tumor, which helps to target cancerous cells without causing a lot of damage to healthy tissues.
Navigating Complexities of Radiotherapy and Oncology Care
As radiation therapy and oncology care continue evolving with personalized treatments, coordinating care so as to provide good results for every patient is essential.
Each step in the treatment regimen and planning process requires the involvement of healthcare providers and different interventions for an extended period.
One study shows that patients with cancer in the first year of getting treatment interacted with around 35 doctors without accounting for other medical experts in healthcare. This complexity level poses the challenge of delivering coordinated and high-quality patient care.
Oncology medical care providers are tasked to treat patients with cancer, achieve good results, and attain those goals effectively and at a minimized cost.
The introduction of cancer care measures, like the Oncology Care Model, encourages medical care providers to leverage technological developments, improve coordination among cancer care experts, streamline processes to optimize precision care management of cancer, and achieve better results for every patient while minimizing costs.
It is important to note that everyone reacts to radiotherapy in a different way. The side effects you can have depend on the location and type of cancer, not to mention your general health and the dose of radiation given to you. Some individuals can have few to no side effects, whereas others have a lot.