Does Radiation Therapy Make You Radioactive?

Parent & Child

Whether or not you’ll be radioactive depends largely on the type of radiation you receive. The three most common delivery methods are:

  • External beam: This is the most common type of radiation therapy and involves delivering radiation to the affected area from a large machine.
  • Brachytherapy: This form of treatment allows doctors to deliver high doses of radiation to specific parts of your body.
  • Systemic radiation: A form of radiation therapy that requires a radioactive substance be swallowed or injected into the body. Once inside a patient, it travels through their blood to the location of cancerous cells or a tumor.

Out of these three, only systemic radiation involves receiving radioactive injections or swallowing a pill. In this instance, it is possible to become radioactive for a short period of time. However, if you receive external beam radiation or brachytherapy, you will not be radioactive at any point.

Cancer Treatment and Radioactivity

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy involves the use of high-energy x-rays or particles that destroy cancerous cells and/or slow the growth of a tumor. Radiation therapy is becoming more and more popular because it can damage a tumor without harming nearby, healthy tissue.

Will my entire body receive radiation?

A common misconception about radiation therapy is that your entire body will receive treatment. In fact, only the part of your body that’s affected by the tumor will receive radiation. If there’s an area that’s at significant risk for tumor re-growth, that area may also be treated.

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.
Share To: