- How Radiation Therapy Works
- Types Of Radiation Treatment
- Side Effects From External Radiation: During And After Treatment
- Radiation Professionals
- How To Choose A Radiation Oncologist
- Questions To Ask Before Agreeing To Radiation Treatment
- Before Your First External Radiation Treatment
- Before Your First Internal Radiation Treatment
- What Happens During An External Radiation Treatment
- How Internal Radiation Is Put Into Place
- What Happens While Internal Radiation Is In Place
- What To Do And Not Do While Undergoing Radiation Treatment
- Breast Cancer Radiation: Long Term Side Effects
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS, SEE THE OTHER SECTIONS OF THIS ARTICLE
Radiation is the use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells. Like surgery, it is a local treatment that only affects cancer cells in the treated area.
- Radiation rays damage cancer cells and stop them from growing and multiplying. Unlike healthy cells, cancer cells can’t repair themselves so damaged cancer cells die off.
- Patients are not radioactive during or after the treatment.
Radiation treatment is generally given over a period of weeks.
Like any treatment, it is advisable to understand the benefits and risks before agreeing to radiation.
There are two varieties of radiation therapy: external and internal. With external radiation, there is usually a planning session before therapy starts. This is a good time to learn what you need to know and to ask practical questions.
While side effects often occur during radiation therapy, there are steps to take to minimize their impact. For example, a cream can help heal the radiated area.
It is advisable to take a family member or friend with you at least to the radiation planning session for both emotional support and to help ask questions.
To Learn More
More InformationGlossary of Radiation Terms