Radiation Therapy Services

Patient preparation for treatment

WHAT IS RADIATION THERAPY?

More than one in three people will develop cancer in their lifetime and over half of these patients will require radiation therapy (sometimes referred to as radiotherapy) at least once - either as part of their overall management plan or as their sole treatment.

Radiation therapy is one of the most established, effective and well tolerated therapies for treating cancers of nearly all types and presentations. Radiation therapy is part of the treatment program in around 40% of patients cured of their cancer. It also has a very important place in helping patients with cancer that cannot be cured. In patients with advanced cancer, radiation therapy is commonly used to shrink tumours, and/or treat cancers that have spread. This provides relief from pain and other symptoms, which is vital for improving a cancer patient’s quality of life.

Radiation therapy may be used alone or in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy and other treatments. It is usually completely non-invasive and accessed through out-patient clinics – patients are not normally admitted to hospital. Radiation therapy often has minimal side effects. Each visit for treatment usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes. This means that most patients can continue with normal daily activities throughout treatment.

Patients' treatment reactions, experiences and treatment responses whilst similar are also unique. Two people undergoing the same course of treatment may experience completely different responses.

The technology used in radiation oncology is constantly improving and has evolved dramatically. Recent advances in technology and techniques is now resulting in higher cure rates, fewer side effects, shorter treatments and improved quality of life. New technology provides three-dimensional images of tumours that precisely target radiation beams to the cancer, limiting damage to important adjacent organs. Real-time imaging is in development which will enable treatment teams to compensate for tiny involuntary patient movements, such as breathing. Current clinical trials are also investigating drugs that sensitise cancer cells to the effects of radiation, making them easier to destroy with radiation therapy.

Ref: http://www.targetingcancer.com.au/about-radiation-oncology/

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Genesis Logo Small.pngGenesisCare is Australia’s leading provider of radiation oncology, cardiology and sleep treatments. We exist to fill the treatment gap for the biggest disease burdens in Australia - cancer and heart care - in an environment of substantial unmet demand from an ageing population. Click here to learn more