When a cell grows out of control and affects other cells in the body, it grows into a cancer. Cells in the human body are able to repair DNA damages, but when a cell is damaged repeatedly it becomes apoptosis or dead cell. When these dead cells grow, divide or spread abnormally in the body, the chances of being affected by cancer becomes a possibility.
With the advancements in the field of technology, medicine and science, Cancer is said to be treated if diagnosed at the primary stage. There are many ways to prevent or treat cancer and Radiation Therapy is one of them. There are many radiation Oncology Specialist in Siliguri and Dr. Saptarshi Ghosh is most trusted oncologist among them. His oncology clinic provides excellent Cancer Radiation Therapy in Siliguri.
What is Radiation Therapy and how does it work?
All of us are aware of X-Ray which uses radiation to picture the internal scan of our broken bones and radiation is a similar method which uses higher and dangerous amount of radiation on the specific body part of the cancer patients that have the signs of cancer growth. A radiation therapy aims at burning that specific area to destroy the cancer cells permanently from the body but the therapy also causes other side effects as a normal body is under great threat when they are exposed to harmful radiations like these.
Radiation Therapy is a process which is done over a few weeks and it does not destroy cancer cells immediately, but takes days or weeks of treatment to damage their concentration on the specific area so that the cancer cells are permanently stopped from growing further.
Let us make a note of the types of Radiation Therapy
The doctor may suggest taking different kinds of radiation therapy depending on your condition. You may be suggested to take a consolidation of chemotherapy and radiotherapy together.
1-3D-CRT (Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy)
3D-CRT is a type of radiotherapy which depends on imaging tests. It is among the most effective types of radiation therapy. The doctor depends upon the images to provide radiation beams from different angles. During this therapy, the patient is placed in a mutilate device which prevents him from moving.
2-SBRT (Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy)
SBRT is also known as stereotactic Radio Surgery though it includes no cutting at all. Different kind of devices, like Cyberknife, is used to deliver radiation dosages with pinpoint accuracy. Cyberknife is a robotic device which can adjust to the patient’s movements. Hence, the patient does not need to immobilize during treatment.
3-IMRT (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy)
IMRT depends on imaging tests for the treatment of the patient. It delivers radiation beams into the patient’s body from multiple angles and to different parts of a tumor. V-MAT is one such type of IMRT treatment in which a machine rotates around the patient’s body immobilizing him for a short period of time.
4-IMPT (Intensity-Modulated Proton Therapy)
IMPT is another effective way of cancer treatment. It is a bit different from other radiation therapies as it uses protons to deliver radiation beams into the body rather than using photon. Like any other radiation therapies, it requires treatment of several days or weeks. The machines that are used in IMPT are very expensive and very few centers of Radiation Oncology in Siliguri offer it.
5- High-Dose or Low-Dose Rate Brachytherapy
BrachyTherapy is among the most effective radiotherapies. It is basically placing small radioactive material near a tumor through surgery. It is used to treat prostate, cervical, skin and breast cancer.
Radiation therapy vs. Chemotherapy
Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy both are effective ways of treating cancer which are sometimes used simultaneously to stop the effects of cancer on a patient’s body. They are inter-related and patients are often made to go through a combined therapy in which radiation burns the cells in the area and chemotherapy stops the growth of cancer cells.
Both these therapies are the only keys to treat cancer but they are done differently and have different side effects too.
Side-effects of Radiation Therapy
- Skin problems
- Fatigue or feeling exhausted
- Swallowing difficulties
- Mouth and gum problems
- Tooth corrosion
Chemotherapy is done in various ways such as injecting into the veins, muscles or abdomen, orally and direct skin application.
Side effects of Chemotherapy
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Stomach pain
- Muscle pain
- Blood disorder
What are the duration and frequency of radiation therapy?
A cancer patient is given radiation treatment 5 times in a week. Every session takes about 15 minutes and continues for 3 to 9 weeks depending on the stage of cancer they are diagnosed with.
How long does it take to recover from a radiation therapy?
Actually, no exact time can be stated as recovery from radiation treatment as the effects of radiation can vary from patient to patient. Some facts are related to it which decides the recovery time of the patient. Some of them are the location and type of cancer, the duration of the radiation therapy, other diseases that exist. HBOT or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy helps patients recover fast as it fights infections, decreases inflammation and regenerates blood vessels.
Do not ignore the symptoms and get a checkup in time!!
If you ever face any symptom of cancer in you or in your loved ones, do visit a doctor without being panicked. Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy are the only keys to cancer treatment, though both of them are packed with some side effects. These two are the only ways to survive cancer. So, we have to rely on them until and unless the scientists discover a better treatment for the evil to the society.