High-energy X-rays are used in radiation therapy to kill malignant cells. To inhibit the growth of malignant cells, patients are administered radiation in carefully controlled doses. It's frequently used before and after surgeries, as well as in conjunction with chemotherapy. The key advantage of this treatment is that it not only kills cancer cells but also helps to relieve pain and other cancer symptoms.
What is the procedure for administering radiation therapy?
When radiation is administered externally, an equipment called a linear accelerator is employed, and when radiation is given internally, a radioactive isotope is put in the patient's body.
Radiation is used to treat skin malignancies both topically and inside, depending on the patient's needs.
When does radiation therapy take place?
Skin malignancies that are more likely to spread are treated with radiation therapy. It is suggested that it be used in the following situations:
- As the primary method of eradicating cancerous cells
- To cure cancer, it is used in conjunction with other treatments.
- Prior to any subsequent therapies, the tumour must be shrunk.
- To avert recurrence tumours after other anticancer treatments
- As part of palliative care for advanced skin malignancies, to ease symptoms
Radiation therapy for skin cancer cells focuses on the afflicted areas as well as the lymph nodes in the surrounding area.
The types of radiation therapies used to treat skin cancer are as follows:
1.External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is to kill malignant tissues in the body. The linear accelerator, an X-ray equipment, is used to direct a beam of radiation externally during EBRT. Radiation is most commonly used to shrink tumours. The linear accelerator projects radiation beams on locations where tumours or cancer cells are present during treatment.
The user is allowed to lie down on a table that rotates to give radiation in all available angles and directions. Higher and more precise radiation dosage in a specific location, which helps to prevent damage to other organs. This is one of the most painless and safest skin cancer treatments available. It is an outpatient surgery that causes no harm to the patient's family or friends.
2.IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy) is a treatment for recurrent skin cancer that involves the external projection of radiation using a linear accelerator. The accelerator, on the other hand, provides radiation in angles and orientations that match the tumor's 3D geometrical shape.
Patients who have not been totally treated with lower doses of radiation are given accurate and high doses of radiation. The benefit of this treatment is that it is precise and accurate.
Accurate and larger doses are given to patients who haven't responded to smaller doses. The main advantage of IMRT is its precision accuracy, which means that it only emits radiation to the damaged portions of the body, leaving healthy cells unaffected.
3.Tomotherapy is a treatment that combines intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with a computed tomography (CT) scan in one machine. This cutting-edge gadget can assist in the delivery of radiation to tumours with complicated forms. The CT scan validates the tumor's size, shape, and location, while tomotherapy limits the amount of radiation that reaches healthy tissues and organs.
RADIATION THERAPY SIDE EFFECTS
When radiation is given in large amounts, it damages healthy blood cells in the body, resulting in negative effects. These could have a negative impact on the body. Short-term side effects fade after one to two weeks of treatment, but the patient must live with long-term side effects for an extended period of time. Doctors must be consulted as soon as any negative side effects are noticed.
- Sunburns, in particular, are a common cause of skin issues.
- Changes in skin tone
- Hair loss is a common problem.
- Loss of memory
- Sexual desire is lessened.
- Salivary damage
- Problems with the heart
The amount of radiation delivered to patients is determined by the type and stage of skin cancer, as well as the patient's medical history and tolerance levels. In the treatment of skin cancer, radiotherapy has a high success rate. The survival rate of radiation therapy for skin cancer is improved by increasing the dose of radiation and delivering it in the proper way without damaging other sections of the body.