Cancer Radiation Treatment
Cancer radiation treatment requires the utmost care and professionalism. You want the physicians and nurses to get to know you. Your physical and emotional well-being is just as important as your cancer treatment. Your treatment should be coordinated with your other treating physicians so you know that you’re being taken care of with the right kind of professionalism and caring. In addition, your treatments should go quickly so they aren’t an added burden to your already busy schedule. This means the treatment facility should also be convenient and nearby to your home and workplace.
When you look for cancer radiation treatment, you should look for the very latest in technology, like “on board” imaging, which is important in Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). This technology helps the oncology staff verify the precise treatment area each visit, which allows them to use more radiation where it’s needed most. Other oncology centers may image patients only once a week; however, with IGRT, centers can create a new CT image with every treatment while the patient is on the imaging table, which allows for accurate delivery of radiation treatment to the cancer location, while protecting other crucial locations. This allows for more effective radiation delivery every time.
Cancer radiation treatment for breast cancer has changed for the better. It used to be that treatment for breast cancer lasted seven weeks and consisted of daily exterior beam radiotherapy to the entire breast. Now technology exists for a high dose of rate brachytherapy, which is internal radiation therapy. This is more efficient and lasts only five days.
Many patients may fear cancer radiation treatment, but they have no reason to fear these treatments. They feel much like getting an x-ray so there is no pain or uncomfortable feeling when having cancer treatments by radiation. Individual treatments last only three to five minutes. The number of doses of treatment the patient receives depends on the doctors and the type of cancer.
There can be some side effects of cancer radiation treatment. The two most common are tiredness and skin irritation. Tiredness can begin after several weeks of treatment and can continue for two to three months after treatment stops. Skin irritation usually occurs on the part of the body being treated and usually depends on the dose of radiation being given. Usually, the skin will become dry, red, and itchy. However, these side effects are a small price to pay for a cure.
When you look for cancer radiation treatment, think about using the professional team at American Cancer Center.