Radiation therapy is usually performed to kill the cancer cells by damaging their DNA by using high-energy particles or high-energy waves. After the therapy, new cell grows and further reproduce themselves into multiple cell to replace the cells lost to damage and aging. Control cells can reproduce faster than any other normal cells as they lack the control found in normal cells. Radiation therapy either damages DNA directly or creates free radicals within the cells which eventually damage the DNA. The pros and cons of radiation therapy are as below.
Pros of Radiation Therapy
- Kills the cancer cells
The radiation therapy kills the cancer cells in a very large proportion within the entire tumor. The radiation causes death of the microscopic disease during the surgery and alone is used to cure small tumors.
- Safe and painless
The radiation therapy is generally painless and safe for the patient. It also does not require any type of anesthesia during the surgery. The surgery usually takes 15-30 minutes and night stay in the hospital is not required. It aids in the organ preservation and can kill more cells together.
- Controls the cancer growth
Controlling the growth cancer is another advantage of the radiation therapy but it doesn’t cure the cancer fully. For a person having locally advanced cancer then radiotherapy may slow down process of the cancer growth. The therapy shrinks the inoperable tumors so that the surgery to remove the tumor can be performed easily. It moreover also help to control the symptoms and relieve the pain.
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Cons of Radiation therapy
- Damages the tissues
During the radiation therapy there may occurs some damages to the surrounding tissues of the lungs and the heart. The damage of the particular tissues depends on their nearness to the tumor.
- Not capable of killing all tumor cells
The radiation therapy cannot kill all the tumor cells which are not visible on the imaging scans and also not included on the 3D models of the radiation planning. Also, it can push parts of the tumor on surrounding normal structures to certain parts of the body such as the brain. To remove such tumors it may require some surgery.
- Loss of hair
Some people may go bald or loss of few strands undergoing the chemotherapy or the radiotherapy.
- Skin problems.
People who undergo radiation therapy experience dryness, itching, blistering, or peeling on the skin. These effects depend on the part of the body which received radiation therapy.
Hence, these are few of the pros and cons of radiation therapy. Comment down below if you have any confusion relating radiation therapy.