Radiation Therapy

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Radiation therapy is one of several treatments used to treat cancer by itself or in combination with other forms of treatment. Dr. Edward Hill discusses radiation therapy in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells.

Radiation therapy may be given alone or with other treatments, like chemotherapy or surgery. It can be external or internal and can be given as a one-time treatment or in smaller doses given during several treatment sessions.

Radiation can damage normal cells as well as cancer cells, leading to side effects. The side effects can include fatigue and changes to the skin. Other side effects depend on where your cancer is located. If your cancer is in your mouth or neck, you may have dryness of mouth or pain in your throat. If your cancer is in your stomach or abdomen, you may have temporary nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Most side effects go away within two months of finishing treatment. But some effects may not appear until months after treatment. These late side effects may include breathing problems, infertility and joint problems.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.