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Radiation oncology is the field of clinical medicine that uses ionizing radiations like radioactive isotope or X-rays in the treatment of cancer. A cancer specialist who uses radiation therapy to cure cancer is called a radiation oncologist. Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to treat cancer. The radiation destroys the cancer cells ability to multiply, and then the body naturally gets rid of these cells. Radiation affects the cancer cells more than the normal cells because unlike normal cells, cancer cells multiply faster and cannot repair the damages caused by radiation.
The commonly used radiation therapies are external beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy. In external beam therapy, the radiation source is located outside the body. And in brachytherapy, the radiation sources are sealed in needles, seeds, or wires and placed near the tumor during surgery. Radiation therapy is used to cure cancer, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy and surgery. If radiation therapy is used after surgery, it is known as an adjuvant treatment. And when it is used before surgery, it is called neoadjuvant or induction radiation therapy.
Also, radiation therapy can be used to reduce the symptoms caused by cancer (palliative). Thus, it can alleviate the pain and suffering in patients with advanced cancer and can improve the quality of life to an extent. If you have any doubts about the effects of radiation on cancer and the general health, you can opt for online consultation with a radiation oncologist.
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