Monthly Archives: September 2021

Radiology

IS RADIATION THERAPY SAFE FOR CANCER: LET’S GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT.

Cancer can be usually treated with Radiation therapy, surgery or medications including chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and/or biologic therapy – used in combination or in isolation. If it can be treated with Radiation, then the patient is referred to a Radiation oncologist – who is a person who specializes in Radiation therapy. Radiologists in Pune, like all other radiologists, work with the primary doctor and other specialists to oversee care. Now, before we get into this topic further, let’s discover what Radiotherapy really is.

How does Radiation work? Radiation therapy or radiotherapy uses various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and other diseases. Curing cancer, controlling its growth, relieving its symptoms such as pain – they can all benefit from Radiation. Radiation works by damaging cancer cells by targeting them properly, in order to protect the healthy ones.

In some cases, Radiation is the only treatment that the person needs. At other times, it is part of the overall treatment. Here’s an example – prostate and larynx cancer, for example, can in most cases be treated with radiotherapy alone, while breast cancer may be treated with a combination of surgery, Radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Radiologists in Pune at the Onco-Life Cancer Centre are experts in all kinds of Radiation Therapies.

Sometimes, Radiation is used to increase the efficacy of the primary treatment. Radiologists in Pune at the Onco-Life Cancer Centre may choose to use Radiation therapy in a number of different ways.  When the goal is to cure cancer, they use it to destroy tumors that have not spread to other parts of the patient’s body. Or to reduce the risk that cancer will not return after surgery or chemotherapy is performed – by killing small amounts of cancer that may remain. Sometimes, the overall goal of Radiation is to slow down the cancer as much as possible. In other cases, Radiation can be used to reduce the symptoms caused by growing tumours and improves quality of life. In such cases, Radiation therapy is called Palliative Care.  What’s important is that patients discuss the goal of the treatment with their Radiation oncologist before undergoing any procedure. Our Radiologists in Pune are well-equipped to handle all queries, no matter how complex.

What are the various kinds of Radiation therapies available? Whilst the goal of all radiation is to kill the cancer cells while preserving the healthy ones, there are several ways to do this. The treatment itself depends on the location, size and type of cancer – based on which a combination of treatments may be recommended. Radiation can be given either externally or internally. External radiation can involve Beam Therapy where the oncology team uses a machine that generates high-energy X-rays at the cancer source. Internal Radiation or Brachytherapy involves placing radioactive seeds inside your body.

Is Radiation Therapy Safe? Yes, every patient always expresses some amount of concern when it comes to Radiation Therapy. Their minds are usually filled with many questions and rumours they may have heard regarding it. To begin with, let us tell you that Radiation has been used successfully around the world for over 100 years to treat patients! Obviously it stands to reason that through these 100 years, many advancements have happened that only make Radiation Therapy safer and easier.

How do we make Radiation safer? Before the patient receives Radiation Therapy, the Onco-Life Cancer Centre Radiation Oncology team stringently tailors the plan to make sure that a patient receives safe and accurate treatment. The aim is to focus on the cancer while avoiding healthy organs in the area. Throughout the treatment, members of the oncology team check and re-check the plan. Special computers are also used to monitor and double-check the treatment machines to ensure that the optimum treatment is given. If a patient undergoes External Beam Radiation Therapy, her or she will not be radioactive when treatment ends because the radiation does not stay in the body. However, if the patient undertakes Internal Brachytherapy, tiny radioactive sources will be implanted inside your body, in the tumor or in the tissue surrounding the tumor, either long-term or short-term. In such a case, your Radiation Oncologist will explain the pros and cons, and special precautions to observe to the patient, family and friends.

Do be assured that as one of the most reputed Radiologists in Pune, our Radiology team at Onco-Care Cancer Centre will never let you down when it comes to the best way forward in terms of Radiation Therapy.