Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is anything more commonly used for radiotherapy than external beam radiotherapy?"
How commo is this procedure? Will I be in pain afterward?
External beam radiotherapy is a commonly used therapy to treat specific areas of the body that have cancer. In some cases of cancer, it is used with the intention of curing the disease. In most cases, it is used to treat a tumor in a specific location that is causing problems for the patient. In other causes it is used to treat a tumor that is in a spot that cannot be operated on surgically. The radiation waves are directed into your body with the intention of destroying the cells at a specific location in the body. The radiation oncologist are able to place the radiation in just the right place to minimize damage to other parts of the body. The symptom I here most people mention after they have had it done is a sunburned area on the skin where the beam entered the body. Most radiation therapy uses an external beam to deliver the radiation. Another type that is occasionally used is brachytherapy. This is a type of radiation therapy when small beads that contain radioactive material are placed around or inside a tumor in order to release radiation very slowly over time in that one location. They type of doctor you want to talk to about this is a radiation oncologist (as apposed to a radiologist). He or she can discuss the benefits, risks, and side effects of your specific procedure.
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