Conventional Radiation:  Beginnings of Treatment Technology

What is conventional radiation?
Conventional radiation is known as traditional or common therapy.  One of the most widely used forms of this therapy is photon radiation. Photon radiation is an external-beam based therapy using X-rays and electrons. This type of treatment is often successful because X-rays target cancer cells and inactivate or destroy them while attempting to leave normal tissue undamaged.  To direct the beam of rays, lead blocks are made that shape the beam for the most accurate targeting in this type of treatment.  Most cancers can be treated by conventional radiation therapy. 
Advantages and Uses
Conventional radiation can also be very beneficial either before of after surgery. If used before surgery, radiation can shrink a tumor and make it less difficult to extract. Post surgery radiation is mainly used to kill any stray cancer cells in the proximate tissue. Local radiation is very successful due in great part to the linear accelerator, the device that generates the necessary X-rays for the treatment without any excess radioactive material.
In addition to all the valuable uses of radiation with surgery and as an isolated therapy, photon radiation is the primary complimentary treatment associated with chemotherapy.  Although a very effective treatment, chemotherapy is strenuous on a cancer patient’s body and can only be administered in intermittent treatment sessions.   Chemotherapy usually goes throughout the body, wherever the circulation takes it.  External radiation, however, is a much more localized treatment process.
About the Treatment
After a doctor has assessed the type and severity of a patient’s cancer, an appropriate dose of radiation is prescribed. This dose will be administered in fractions over a six to seven week time period with treatments five days a week. Each session is under an hour, with only one to five minutes of actual exposure to the radiation.
At Beverly Oncology Imaging (BOI) we are dedicated to improving our patient's quality of life. At BOI we understand our patient’s frustrations and concerns, and we are dedicated to providing our patients with superior treatment and patient care. Cancer is best treated when detected early.  Please call for a consultation and learn what BOI can do for you.

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