Knowledge about radiotherapy

  When it comes to treating cancer, radiotherapy is always indispensable. Many people have heard that this kind of cancer treatment will bring side effects to the body more or less. Based on this “hearing” reason, some cancer patients would prefer to escape and switch to alternative therapies when faced with radiotherapy. So, with the advancement of medical technology, what progress has been made in radiotherapy?
  What is radiotherapy?
  Radiotherapy, also called “radiation therapy”, uses a high-energy radiation like X-rays to destroy the chromosomes of cells, stop the cells from growing, and thereby destroy cancer cells that can divide and grow rapidly.
  1. Radical Radiation Therapy: For example, early nose cancer can be completely cured by radiotherapy.
  2. Adjuvant radiotherapy: used after surgery to reduce the local recurrence rate and improve survival rate. It can also be used before surgery. If the tumor is too large, it can be reduced by radiotherapy and then removed by surgery.
  3. Palliative radiotherapy: Palliative treatment of some advanced tumors to achieve analgesia, hemostasis, shrinking tumors, and alleviating compression, etc., to improve the quality of life of patients.
  For patients, radiotherapy is all about lying down and receiving radiation. In fact, the complicated and precise design of the relevant medical staff is required.
  These include body fixation and scanning: to accurately direct radiation to the tumor, the patient’s body must be fixed. The radiotherapy therapist will use different fixation methods according to the irradiation site, and then scan; tumors in the chest and abdomen will move with breathing, so they must also control the range of movement.
  Target area delineation: The oncologist determines the target area (ie, the tumor area to be irradiated) on the CT image scanned during positioning. Setting the target area too large or too small will affect the effectiveness of radiotherapy. In addition, outline the area of ​​normal tissue that needs to be protected from radiation. After the target area is determined, the doctor will prescribe radiotherapy prescriptions, such as the dose and frequency of radiation.
  Radiotherapy plan design: After the doctor has formulated the radiotherapy target area and the prescribed dose, the medical physicist will design a building-like drawing on the computer and simulate the various parameters that require irradiation through calculation, that is, the radiotherapy plan design. A good plan will allow the tumor to receive the highest possible radiation dose, thereby increasing tumor killing. At the same time, normal tissues can only be exposed to the lowest possible radiation dose, thereby providing better protection for normal tissues. After that, it must be verified to ensure that it is correct before the radiotherapy can be officially implemented.
  During the procedure, the patient must ensure that he is lying in the same position and maintaining the same posture every time, and can not do the slightest movement. Therefore, when performing tumor treatment on the head or nasal and nasal cavity, a mask will be put on the patient’s head to help fixation.
  Radiotherapy is performed like an X-ray examination, and the patient does not need anesthesia or discomfort. The time and frequency depend on the condition, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes each time and from 30 to 40 times.
  Side effects: sensitive tissues affected
  when radiation therapy is sometimes difficult to avoid some of the surrounding tissue is sensitive to the influence of side effects. This side effect varies from person to person, and also presents different symptoms depending on the site. Feeling tired, dry body, darkened skin, dry mouth, drooling, loss of taste, local hair loss, etc .; side effects usually appear 2 to 3 weeks after radiotherapy.
  These side effects may have been irreversible before. But today’s technological progress, although there are still side effects after radiotherapy, but can return to normal function after a period of time.
  Modern technology has been able to prolong the survival rate of end-stage cancer, so patients should not give up treatment. Even if you are sentenced to a terminal illness, you have to insist. Clinically, there are often some patients with terminal cancer who can only lie down. They can get up and act after radiotherapy. If you have any discomfort during radiotherapy, you can talk to your doctor to discuss how to relieve it, and let the doctor prescribe medicine to relieve the discomfort.