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Category Archives: Radiation

In practice of oncology, preserving an organ has either served a cosmetic reason or a functional one. For example breast conservation has merely served a cosmetic purpose but limb preservation in treatment of sarcomas, has served the purpose of preserving the function of a limb. When it comes to preserving the cervix, it’s preservation has Continue Reading

Traditionally external radiation for treating endometrial cancer was given with four-field technique. That is radiation beams were directed from anterior, posterior, right and left lateral sides. This technique did not spare any of organs within pelvis. With the invention of CAT scans, three-dimensional radiation therapy was developed. This technology was a CT-based treatment planning system Continue Reading

Endometrial cancer is primarily treated with surgery unless, for medical reasons, patient can not undergo surgery. If based on surgical specimen the pathologist determines that the disease was early stage, patient may not need any additional treatment. The least amount of treatment needed would be addition of so called “internal radiation” or brachytherapy aka “vaginal Continue Reading

What would determine the target of radiation therapy after a mastectomy depends on the pathological findings at the time of mastectomy if patient has not received any chemotherapy prior to her mastectomy and the clinical findings prior to the mastectomy if patient has received chemotherapy prior to the mastectomy. The clinical findings prior to the Continue Reading

How long after a lumpectomy would radiation therapy begin depends on whether chemotherapy has been recommended or not. That is because generally speaking in the sequence of treatments, chemotherapy comes before radiation. But regardless of whether it is chemotherapy or radiation, the factor determining the beginning of next treatment is how well the incision of Continue Reading

What are the different types of brachytherapy (IRT – Internal Radiation Therapy)? “Internal” radiation or brachytherapy involves use of a variety of radioactive isotopes which are placed inside or near the tumor/cancer. By doing so, radiation does not have to go through the normal tissue between an external source and the target of radiation. Depending Continue Reading

Requirements for Radiation Treatment

What issues would make a patient not eligible to receive radiation treatment? A patient may not be eligible to receive radiation treatment either because radiation therapy is not indicated for treatment of that particular cancer or stage of the disease or because, even though indicated, it would not be safe to receive radiation. Contraindications to Continue Reading

Potential Delays in Beginning Radiation Treatments

What potential issues may cause a delay in beginning radiation treatments for breast cancer patients? The three common treatment modalities in treatment of breast cancer can be given in different sequences. The most common sequence is to start with surgery, continue with chemotherapy if indicated and finish with radiation therapy. But in some cases chemotherapy Continue Reading

Radiation Therapy and Fatigue

What advice do you give to patients about dealing with fatigue from radiation therapy? The best way to deal with fatigue from radiation therapy is creating a balance between getting enough rest and staying active enough. To succumb to the fatigue and give up physical activity would create a vicious cycle resulting in less energy Continue Reading

What To Expect: Process for New Patients

What process does the radiation oncologist follow when preparing to treat a new patient? Radiation therapy is a very technical treatment and takes a great deal of work by the radiation oncologist, the dosimetrist and the radiation physicist to create a radiation plan which would deliver the required dose of radiation to the cancer while Continue Reading

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