Doctor insights on:
How Will We Know If The Radiation Therapy Is Working
Not always: This depends on if you can see or feel the cancer physically or your doctor sees the tumor on setup x-rays. In these cases you could see the tumor shrinking and as such it is working. In many cases we are treating cancer that are too small to see even on x-rays and the therapy is based in studies that have shown radiation will work. Over time you are examined and xrayed to verify how it worked. ...Read more
It depends on type o: It depends on type of cancer (Diagnosis). Some Cancers respond faster such as Lymphoma where response can be observed after 1 month of treatment. Solid tumors take 2 to 3 months to show tumor regression on imaging studies. Physical examination can provide early leads of tumor shrinkage or lack of it, over a period of 1 to 2 months after starting radiation. ...Read more
Shields are built in: Radiation therapy machines have the shields built in to them. These shape the radiation to fit the area of the body that needs to be treated and protects the rest. Additionally, it takes many inches if lead to block the radiation used for external beam treatment and a person cannot wear a shield thick enough to block the beam. ...Read more
Can I exercise while i’m having radiation therapy? I exercise almost every day, and I don’t feel right when I don’t. Now i’m about to start radiation therapy. Will I still be able to exercise?
Yes: Generally, we recommend maintaining activity during radiation therapy. Fatigue is a common complaint with radiation, active patients tend to do better. Most other symptoms with radiation therapy tend to be related to the area of the body treated. Side effects and overall recommendations would depend on region treated and if chemotherapy is required. Consult with your radiation oncologist. ...Read more
Your question is: Impossibly broad. Radiation effects normal tissue function passaged by entry and exit beams, but these vary with the disease treated, region of the body, dose/treatment, total dose, area/volume treated. If the organ is not in the treatment field, it will not be affected. ...Read more
0-7 weeks.: The most common method for treating breast cancer is external beam rt ("outside-in") given over 7 weeks; this can be accelerated over 4 weeks in some settings. Brachytherapy is an option for some patients, where the rt is given from the "inside-out" over 5 days. A handful of centers are now offering intraoperative rt, popularized in europe, where the rt is given over minutes during lumpectomy. ...Read more
Depends on cancer: Other than stopping smoking if you have lung or breast cancer, there are no diet or lifestyle changes that will affect your radiation therapy. However if you make lifestyle changes when you have been treated for cancer, then your longterm survival of that cancer is likely to be improved. ...Read more
Yes: Often radiation is used to stop bleeding, such as coughing up blood from a lung cancer, or bleeding from the vagina from a cervix or vaginal cancer. However if the skin in an area peels excessively or the linings of the oral or intestinal tract such as the rectum can bleed temporarily and often heal. However long term changes can lead to periodic bleeding from an area such as the rectum. ...Read more
Generally NO: Most people are treated with external radiation. This leaves no residual radiation in the body, it's like having an x-ray. Once the machine is off, there is no more radiation. Some people are treated with permanent radioactive implants. These then stay in the body and give off radiation for a while. You wouldn't be radioactive, but radiation could be detected coming from you for a while. ...Read more
It varies: Radiation therapy is commonly used to control cancer. This requires high tech machines which cost millions of dollars to install. Accordingly the treatment: radiation therapy is expensive, typically runs into tens of thousands of dollars for a full course of treatment which can take up 3 to 6 weeks of daily treatments. Overall costs range from $20k for short course treatment to 100k for longer one. ...Read more
No: It can not replace radiation. But meditation can make you relax and feel better. A positive attitude and feeling better are important in tolerating any type of treatment. ...Read more
No: There is no other natural process that can cause the same effect of radiation to kill cancer cells. However, these methods can be complimentary to treating a patient. Its very important to have positive attitudes, exercise, eat well (nutrition and healthy food), spiritual belief, and monitor environmental exposures (don't smoke or drink). Regarding herbs and supplements check with your doctor. ...Read more
Both: Its like recommending sony versus samsung. Each device is from a different manufacturer that can accomplish the same thing. A doctor may say theirs is better but if he had the other device he would be saying the same thing. Its more important to know your doctor has the knowledge to treat a disease and a good reputation. ...Read more
Secondary Cancer: Radiation does cause cancer, but is also used to treat cancer in radiation oncology. The best data for this is from children treated with radiation and followed closely for many years. The data can be murky with other causes of cancer. However, in general, the risk of secondary malignancy is much less than 1% can take up to 20 years to develop. The benefit of radiation far outweighs this risk. ...Read more
Not really: When given appropiately, radiation helps with local control. Keeping the tumor from recurring where it started). But yes exposure to radiation can be a cause for second cancers- (tho rare) most commonly sarcomas in the area of the radiated tissue). ...Read more
Depends: In general, in advanced stage of cancer, where the cancer has spread to distant organ- chemo would be the primary therapy. Palliative radiation can be used to relieve pain, obstruction, stops bleeding etc. In more localized disease, radiation is used as a single tx or combination with chemo either to cure (if surgery can't be done); or before or after surgery. Please d/w your oncology team. ...Read more
Yes: Radiation takes advantage of free radicals formed in the field of radiation to cause dna damage targeted at cancer cells. Antioxidants are free radical scavengers, so they can potentially reduce the effectiveness of radiation treatments. It is best to avoid mega doses of antioxidants in the diet during and up to 6 weeks after radiation treatments. ...Read more
Seeds /y radioactive:
Radioactive seed implant of prostate makes your father slightly radioactive for about 6 months when the amount of radioactivity has decreased significantly. Children have young organs prone to injury from radiation.
Other forms of radiation like external beam radiation, imrt, igrt, cyberknife, high-dose-rate brachy therapy do not make your father radioactive. No risk to be around children. ...Read more
Modern radiation: The first patient was treated with radiation in 1890s.So as you can see its been around a long time. The machines have delivered radiation in a similar energy form since the 1950s (linear accelerator).Proton therapy has been around since the 1960s.The radiation itself has not changed. It is really the planning computers and the diagnostic xray machines that have changed the delivery in the last 30yrs. ...Read more
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