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How does a radiation therapy work?

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.

Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, which prevents them from dividing and growing. The radiation is delivered to the tumor site through a machine called a linear accelerator, which aims the radiation beams at the tumor from different angles. The goal is to deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding healthy tissue.

There are two main types of radiation therapy: external beam radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy. External beam radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to deliver radiation to the tumor. Internal radiation therapy, also known as brachytherapy, involves placing a radioactive source inside the body near the tumor.

Radiation therapy is typically given in daily sessions over several weeks. The length of treatment and the dose of radiation depend on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the patient's overall health.

While radiation therapy can be effective in treating cancer, it can also cause side effects such as fatigue, skin irritation, and nausea. However, these side effects are usually temporary and can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. Overall, radiation therapy is an important tool in the fight against cancer and can help improve the quality of life for many patients.

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