September 14, 2022
Radiotherapy is one of the most used treatments to treat cancer. This is based on the use of ionizing radiation aimed at destroying tumor cells, generally cancerous, in addition to reducing tumors in the place of the body where it is applied. According to the World Health Organization, more than 50% of people with cancer require radiation therapy. On this occasion, Dr. Daniela Barriga, radiation oncologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, will give us more information about this treatment.
How is radiation therapy different from chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are different treatments. The first is more focused on the systemic treatment of cancer and consists of the administration of drugs that attack all rapidly multiplying cells in the body, effectively targeting fast-growing tumors The second is characterized as a localized therapy using radiation.
When is radiotherapy applied?
Most cancer patients will receive radiotherapy at some point in their treatment, either as curative or complementary therapy, this can be before (neoadjuvant therapy) or after surgery (adjuvant method); associated with other systemic treatments; or to relieve symptoms of the disease and improve quality of life (palliative).
How does a patient prepare before treatment?
The recommendations that the specialist gives the patient before their session depend on the place of irradiation. These are related to:
Are there types of radiotherapy treatment?
The different types of radiation therapy include: external, internal, and intraoperative.
How long does a radiotherapy treatment last?
It usually lasts between 2 and 7 weeks, depending on the dose and the total number of sessions. It is mostly given daily for 5 days a week. Each session lasts an average of 10 to 15 minutes, although it can vary depending on the technique.
Dr. Daniela Barriga
Radiation oncologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma