1. Radiations (it treats many types of cancer)
Radiation therapy--also called radiotherapy--is a highly targeted, highly effective way to destroy cancer cells that may linger after surgery. This reduces the risk of recurrence. Despite what many people fear, radiation therapy is relatively easy to tolerate, and the side effects are restricted to the area being treated.
Most likely, you will receive radiation externally. With this technique, a large machine called a linear accelerator delivers high-energy radiation to the affected area. You will receive this treatment as an outpatient in daily sessions over five to seven weeks, depending on your particular situation. When you hear the term "radiation therapy," you can usually assume it means external radiation unless otherwise specified.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you have "internal radiation" (also called "brachytherapy" or "high-dose intracavitary radiation") instead. With this technique, radioactive material is temporarily placed inside the affected area, where the tumor used to be.
This is typically reserved for the end of treatment and is given as an additional "boost," to supplement the regular radiation given to the whole area.
- Risks (after surgery):
The radiation used to kill cancer in your body can also damage normal cells, and you will feel the impact of this. Just as the benefits of radiation are gradual, you'll find a gradual onset of side effects.
Also it involves a lot of stress in cancer patients and is expensive.
The most annoying and uncomfortable side effects of radiation therapy involve the skin of the area being treated. In many ways your skin reaction will be similar to a sunburn, with a mild to moderate pink color, or redness, and with itching, burning, soreness, and possible peeling. But unlike a sunburn, your skin will react...