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How does radiation therapy kill cancer cells?

How Radiation Therapy Works Against Cancer. At high doses, radiation therapy kills cancer cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and removed by the body.

What is targeted radiation therapy?

Targeted radiation therapy: A procedure that uses computers to create a 3-dimensional picture of the tumor in order to target the tumor as accurately as possible and give it the highest possible dose of radiation while sparing normal tissue as much as possible.

How many types of cancer treatments are there?

Cancer treatment options include:

  • Surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer or as much of the cancer as possible.
  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Bone marrow transplant.
  • Immunotherapy.
  • Hormone therapy.
  • Targeted drug therapy.
  • Cryoablation.

What is radiotherapy and how does it work?

Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles or waves, such as x-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons, to destroy or damage cancer cells. Your cells normally grow and divide to form new cells. But cancer cells grow and divide faster than most normal cells.

Can you drive home after radiation treatment?

Will I be able to drive after my radiotherapy treatment? Almost all patients are able to drive while receiving radiotherapy treatment. However, with some types of cancer, driving may NOT be recommended due to fatigue or strong pain medication. Your physician will be able to address your specific case.

What can I expect after my first radiation treatment?

The most common early side effects are fatigue (feeling tired) and skin changes. Other early side effects usually are related to the area being treated, such as hair loss and mouth problems when radiation treatment is given to this area. Late side effects can take months or even years to develop.

What comes first radiation or chemo?

In many cases, radiation therapy is given after surgery. If chemotherapy is planned after surgery, radiation usually follows chemotherapy.

What is life like after radiation therapy?

For most people, the cancer experience doesn’t end on the last day of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy usually does not have an immediate effect, and it could take days, weeks or months to see any change in the cancer. The cancer cells may then keep dying for weeks or months after the end of treatment.

What happens if you miss one radiation treatment?

Missed Radiation Therapy Sessions Increase Risk of Cancer Recurrence. Patients who miss radiation therapy sessions during cancer treatment have an increased risk of their disease returning, even if they eventually complete their course of radiation treatment, according to a new study.

How long does it take to recover from radiation fatigue?

Radiation can give you fatigue that gets worse over time (called cumulative fatigue). It usually lasts 3 to 4 weeks after your treatment stops, but it can continue for up to 3 months.

How do I regain energy after radiation?

There are many things you can do to help cope with cancer fatigue:

  1. Ask for help and accept it when it is offered. Don’t let pride get in the way of asking for help.
  2. Get enough sleep.
  3. Rest when you need it.
  4. Ensure you are properly hydrated.
  5. Think twice before drinking energy drinks.
  6. Exercise when you feel you can.