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Therapeutic radiation is used to treat a variety of cancers. In fact, it’s often stated that more than half of all cancer patients will require radiation at some point during their care.

If you are considering radiation therapy, the first step is to schedule a visit with a radiation oncologist. Radiation therapy, sometimes referred to as radiotherapy, involves the use of various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and other diseases. Doctors use radiation therapy—either delivered from the outside-in using a high-powered medical device (external beam radiation therapy) or delivered from the implanted sources inside the body (brachytherapy) to help cure cancer, to control cancer growth, or to relieve symptoms such as pain, swelling, and/or obstruction.

Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA within cancer cells and destroying the ability of the cancer cells to reproduce. When these damaged cells die, the body naturally eliminates them. Normal cells are also affected by radiation, but they can repair themselves in a way that cancer cells cannot.

While you undergo radiation therapy, a team of highly trained medical professionals will be working together to make sure you receive the best care possible. Radiation can be delivered in multiple different ways using external and/or internal delivery sources and techniques. Today, an increasing number of patients have their cancers treated successfully, with few side effects and preservation of normal tissue, using advanced and state-of-the art radiation technologies. Radiation procedures are the careful use of high-energy radiation to treat cancers.