Types of Radiation Therapies

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA (the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and pass it from one generation to the next). Radiation therapy can either damage DNA directly or create charged particles (free radicals) within the cells that can in turn damage the DNA. Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and eliminated by the body’s natural processes. However it can damage normal cells also.  The amount of radiation that normal tissue can safely receive is known for all parts of the body. Doctors use this information to help them decide where to aim radiation during treatment.

  • External Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Stereotactic Radiation
  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy or IMRT
  • Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)
  • Particle therapy
  • Brachytherapy
  • Intraoperative radiotherapy

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