Radiotherapy uses high energy rays to treat cancer. Palliative treatment means treatment to shrink a cancer, slow down its growth, or control symptoms. It does not aim to cure the cancer. Doctors use palliative radiotherapy to help shrink an advanced cancer. Or they can use it to control symptoms of a cancer that has spread to give a better quality of life. Depending on the type of cancer one have, and where it has spread to, one may have external radiotherapy or internal radiotherapy. External radiotherapy: External beam radiotherapy works very well for treating cancer cells in one area of the body or several distinct areas. This type of radiotherapy uses strong X-rays, which only treat the area of the body they are aimed at. One can have external radiotherapy to more than one area at the same time. Internal radiotherapy: There are several different types of internal radiotherapy treatment. One may have a small injection of a radioactive substance to treat widespread cancer in the bones. Or one may have a radioactive metal implant put inside your body, very close to the cancer. This can shrink a cancer that is causing a blockage, for example in the food pipe. Palliative radiotherapy is used for various reasons including to Relieve bone pain, Treat spinal cord compression, Shrink a tumor to relieve pressure or a blockage, Treat symptoms of cancer in the brain, Treat symptoms of cancer in the lungs, Control ulcerating tumors and reduce bleeding.
Last date updated on July, 2014