How Does Radiation Therapy Fight Cancer?


If you were recently diagnosed with cancer, you’ll likely begin treatment as soon as possible. When you do, there’s a strong chance your doctor will suggest radiation therapy as either your primary form of treatment or one part of your overall treatment plan.

Choosing a cancer treatment plan can be one of the most difficult decisions you ever make, which is why we suggest taking your time to research all possible options. While you should certainly listen to your doctor’s suggestions, it’s important to do some of your own research as well.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy involves directing X-rays, gamma rays, and charged particles at cancerous cells or a tumor, with the hopes of killing the cells or damaging them so they can no longer divide. Once the cancerous cells die, they’re broken down and removed by your body. Ultimately, radiation therapy is used to cure cancer, prevent it from returning, or slow its growth.

Unfortunately, radiation doesn’t kill cancerous cells right away. It can take weeks, if not months, for cells to become so damaged that they can no longer multiply.

Types of Radiation Therapy

There are two main types of radiation therapy: external beam and internal.

Several factors will help a doctor determine which treatment is best for you, including:

  • The type of cancer you have.
  • How large your tumor is.
  • Where the tumor is located in your body.
  • How close the tumor is to healthy tissue.
  • Your medical history.
  • Your family history.
  • Whether you’ll exclusively need radiation therapy or if other treatments will be used as well.
  • Your age and current health.

Beverly Oncology & Imaging offers state-of-the-art medical technology with greater convenience than hospitals can offer. We are leaders in our field, using cutting-edge technology like Rotating Gamma Technology™, External Beam therapy, and brachytherapy. Contact us today to discuss treatment options or to make an appointment.

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