07 Jun Radiation Therapy: A Key Mesothelioma Treatment Option
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and affects the lining of various organs. It is rare and aggressive. As such, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat, but radiation therapy is one of the key treatment options available for cancer treatment centers. Here’s how radiation therapy works, what to expect during treatment, and the potential benefits and risks.
What is Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy is a cancer remedy that utilizes high-energy radiation to destroy cancer cells or diminish tumors. It damages the DNA in cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and growing. It can be offered in two methods:
- External radiation therapy: This approach uses a linear accelerator to deliver radiation to the affected area from outside the body.
- Internal radiation therapy: Also known as brachytherapy, involves placing radioactive material inside the body near the cancer.
Aside from that, radiation therapy can be used on its own or with other medical interventions, such as surgery or chemotherapy. Cancer treatment decisions depend on factors such as the cancer stage, tumor location, and individual health.
How Does Radiation Therapy Work for Mesothelioma?
Radiation therapy is often combined with other mesothelioma treatments, such as surgery and chemotherapy. In some cases, radiation therapy may be the primary treatment if the tumor is inoperable or the patient is not a candidate for surgery.
One of the main benefits of radiation therapy for mesothelioma is that it can help relieve symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath. It can also improve the patient’s quality of life by reducing the size of the tumor and preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body.
What to Expect During Radiation Therapy?
Before radiation therapy, the patient will have a planning session to determine the tumor location and radiation dosage using imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans. After preparation, radiation therapy is delivered to the affected area while the patient lies on a table. The treatment is painless, but side effects such as fatigue, skin irritation, or difficulty swallowing may occur.
The duration of radiation therapy depends on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Treatment may be delivered once a day for several weeks or in higher doses over a shorter period.
What Are the Benefits and Risks of Radiation Therapy?
Radiation therapy can be an effective treatment option for mesothelioma as it kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors. It also relieves symptoms such as pain or difficulty breathing. However, radiation therapy also carries risks, like damaging healthy cells and tissues, which causes fatigue, skin irritation, and difficulty swallowing.
In some cases, the damage can be more severe, leading to long-term complications like fibrosis or secondary cancers. Hence, patients must discuss radiation therapy’s potential benefits and risks with their doctor before starting treatment.
Radiation therapy is a valuable treatment option for mesothelioma, particularly in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. It can improve patients’ symptoms and quality of life, sometimes even prolong survival.
However, as with any medical treatment, patients must understand radiation therapy’s potential benefits and risks before deciding about their care. They should work closely with their local cancer treatment center to develop a personalized treatment plan considering their needs and preferences.
Trust CenterPoint Radiation Oncology for advanced cancer treatments in Los Angeles. Our experienced team uses the latest technology to provide personalized care for each patient. Schedule your appointment now and take the first step toward recovery.