External beam radiation therapy

How does external beam radiation therapy work?

External beam radiation therapy uses high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. A large machine aims radiation at the cancer . The machine moves around you, without touching you. Most treatments last from 2 to 10 weeks.

What is a type of external beam radiation therapy?

External beam therapy (EBT), also called external radiation therapy , is a method for delivering a beam or several beams of high-energy x-rays to a patient’s tumor. Beams are generated outside the patient (usually by a linear accelerator, see below) and are targeted at the tumor site.

What are the side effects of external beam radiation therapy?

Potential side effects of external beam radiation therapy for prostate cancer may include: Frequent urination. Difficult or painful urination. Blood in the urine. Urinary leakage. Abdominal cramping. Diarrhea. Painful bowel movements. Rectal bleeding.

Is brachytherapy external beam radiation?

Brachytherapy is sometimes called internal radiation . Brachytherapy allows doctors to deliver higher doses of radiation to more-specific areas of the body, compared with the conventional form of radiation therapy ( external beam radiation ) that projects radiation from a machine outside of your body.

What are the disadvantages of radiation therapy?

Radiation not only kills or slows the growth of cancer cells, it can also affect nearby healthy cells. Damage to healthy cells can cause side effects. Many people who get radiation therapy have fatigue. Treatment Areas and Possible Side Effects Fatigue. Hair loss. Nausea and vomiting. Skin changes. Headache. Blurry vision.

How long does external radiation therapy take?

External radiation is a lot like getting a regular x-ray. The treatment itself is painless and takes only a few minutes. But each session can last 15 to 30 minutes because of the time it takes to set up the equipment and put you in the right position.

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What are the two types of radiation therapy?

Types of Radiation Therapy . There are two main types of radiation therapy , external beam and internal.

Is chemo worse than radiation?

The radiation beams change the DNA makeup of the tumor, causing it to shrink or die. This type of cancer treatment has fewer side effects than chemotherapy since it only targets one area of the body.

Do you lose weight during radiation treatment?

Radiation and chemotherapy often cause a decrease in appetite. They can also lead to side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores, which can affect your ability to eat normally, further contributing to weight and muscle loss .

Does radiation lower your immune system?

Radiation therapy can potentially affect your immune system , especially if a significant amount of bone marrow is being irradiated because of its role in creating white blood cells. However, this doesn’t typically suppress the immune system enough to make you more susceptible to infections.

How long after radiation do you start to feel better?

Early side effects, such as nausea and fatigue, usually don’t last long . They may start during or right after treatment and last for several weeks after it ends, but then they get better . Late side effects, such as lung or heart problems, may take years to show up and are often permanent when they do .

What is the success rate of radiation therapy?

When it comes to early stages of disease, patients very frequently do well with either brachytherapy or external beam radiation . Success rates of around 90% or higher can be achieved with either approach.

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How will I feel after brachytherapy?

Fatigue or Tiredness You may feel more tired than usual during these first few months after your seed implant. You may feel tired all the time or you may get tired more easily when you do daily activities. This is a common side effect of brachytherapy treatment.

What are the long term side effects of brachytherapy?

Long term side effects of internal radiotherapy (brachytherapy) Bladder inflammation . You might feel that you have to pass urine more often than usual. Problems passing urine. Leakage of urine. Erection problems ( impotence ) Frequent or loose poo. Inflammation of the back passage (proctitis) Cancer of the bladder or lower bowel.

What are the risks of brachytherapy?

Prostate brachytherapy may cause side effects , including: Difficulty starting urination. Frequently feeling an urgent need to urinate. Pain or discomfort when urinating. Needing to urinate at night. Blood in the urine. Not being able to empty your bladder completely. Erectile dysfunction . Bleeding from the rectum.

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