This is the use of high-energy rays to control or kill cancer cells.
The intent of radiation therapy is to use high-energy rays to control or kill cancer cells. It can also be used to control pain, especially when the cancer involves bone.
The radiation energy level is measured in megaelectronvolts (MeV).
Radiation is a useful treatment for many types of cancer.
In intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) the intensity of the beam is varied to conform to the shape of the target tissue or organ. The aim is to limit damage to surrounding healthy tissues, while effectively treating the cancer.
IMRT is a valuable technique for treating some tumors, but adds little value in the treatment of others.
Radiation treatment is typically given in a clinic or hospital outpatient setting.
You will need to lie still during the treatment. Pads or other devices may be used to keep you in the correct position.
Treatment sessions last about 15 to 30 minutes, with most of the time spent on positioning.
Radiation therapy is usually given 5 days a week (sometimes twice a day) for 1 to 10 weeks, but your treatment schedule will depend on your specific diagnosis and the purpose of the radiation treatments.
When radiation is therapy is used for pain control, you may only require a small number of treatments.
The costs for this procedure include the charge for the procedure (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing the procedure). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.
If you are having radiation therapy, be prepared to discuss your treatment plan so you know what to expect.
Before your radiation therapy, make a list of any questions/concerns/symptoms you have and verify which medications you should take before the treatment. Ask about possible complications, how you may feel afterwards and if you should modify your activity. Make sure you understand all instructions.
After your radiation therapy, you should know what symptoms should be reported to your healthcare provider before you next appointment. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.
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