Why does radiation therapy work

When we use the term radiation therapy, it usually means that we are dealing with something related to cancer, because radiation therapy is used to kill the cancerous cells to stop them from spreading onto other parts of the body that are not yet affected by the disease. The therapy works because super charged rays of light, especially designed and suited to the purpose of therapy only, kill as many cancerous cells as possible, thus stopping the steady progress of cancer through the body. Once the diseased cells are killed before they die out anyway, the tremendous pain which is usually associated with cancer, reduces in magnitude as well.

It might come as a surprise to some, but the X-rays which we often use to determine the inner condition of a particular part of our body, is actually quite similar to the rays that are used in radiotherapy. Certainly, the intensity of the rays used in radiation therapy is much higher than X-rays. Radiation therapy is local in nature but it can be given both internally or externally, depending on the doctor administering the therapy and the condition of the patient. The external therapy involves a machine through which the ray is used to perform the operations on the specific location of the cancer. Internal radiation therapy on the other hand would require the patient to take a pill or drink the liquid radiation. Intravenous drips can also be used to administer internal radiotherapy. External radiation therapy usually does not require the patient to be admitted to the hospital at which he/she is being treated at, but internal radiotherapy necessitates admission and seclusion for as long as the radiation is not totally released from the body.

Although radiation therapy works and it is currently the most commonly used form of cancer treatment, it has its side effects. Skin rashes and burn marks are common symptoms along with diarrhea, weariness; infections due to loss of White Blood Cells and of course the pain and discomfort that is associated primarily with taking the treatment in the first place. However, the good news is that the side effects usually die away once the course of the therapy is completed successfully.