Radiation therapy is one of the three main forms of treatment for cancer.
It works by disrupting the DNA or the instruction manual of human cells which prevents cancer cells from making copies of themselves.
Approximately 60% of patients who receive a cancer diagnosis will have radiation therapy included in their treatment plan at some point in their diagnosis. This can be at the beginning of a diagnosis when a treatment cure is being sought (definitive radiation) or it can also be used when a cancer spreads to a different part of the body and is causing a symptom (palliative radiation)
Radiation therapy is not visible and does not hurt when it is delivered. It is an invisible energy beam that is pointed in a very accurate way at the center of a tumor or target area.
Radiation may be used on it's own (ex: early-stage lung or prostate cancer) or can be used together with surgery and/or chemotherapy for other types of cancers (ex: head & neck or esophageal cancer).
To learn about the types of technology Coastal Radiation Oncology uses to treat cancer