Choosing radiotherapy may be the best option for people with bone cancers that cannot be removed with surgery. After surgery, radiation may be used to kill any cancerous cells that may remain. For those with advanced bone cancer, it may help control signs and symptoms, such as pain.
The best ways to use radiotherapy
- To try to shrink the tumor before surgery. It aids the surgeon in completely removing the malignancy. As a result, limb-sparing surgery rather than amputation is an option.
- During surgery, it is positioned so that it reaches the tumor without passing through the skin or other nearby tissue.
- To lower the chance of recurrence of cancer after surgery. If surgery does not entirely remove the tumor, radiation can help reduce it.
There are various types of radiotherapy.
1. Radiation therapy with intensity modulation (IMRT)
External beam radiation is being phased out in favour of IMRT (EBRT). It employs powerful inverse computer programmes to calculate variable radiation dosages that must be delivered directly to the tumor from various angles. This enables the safe administration of greater doses, enhancing the likelihood of cure.
This reduces the amount of radiation that reaches organs near the tumor. For the same reason, proton therapy is popular among children because it is less harmful to their developing tissues.
3. Radiosurgery with stereotactic accuracy
This is a complicated process that necessitates the use of highly specialised procedures. It delivers extremely high radiation doses specifically to tumors, with minimal impact on surrounding tissues and, as a result, fewer side effects. The procedure is usually carried out around the spine and the brain.
It's an internal sort of radiation that goes straight to the tumor. Intraoperative radiotherapy is a popular form in which a significant single dose of radiation is directed directly to the tumor during surgery. Other forms involve the use of radioactive seeds that are either temporary or permanent and are used to treat the insides of tumors.
Extracorporeal radiation is a technique used in limb-salvage surgery to dislodge the cancerous bone. It also uses radiation to cure it before relocating it. As a result, wound healing issues, loss of joint flexibility, limb length changes, and fractures are all possible side effects.
Patients must be educated, and sufficient information and reassurance must be provided to them prior to surgery. Health experts and RT nurses can help parents and children communicate better. When a parent gets cancer or vice versa, communication between parent and kid is linked to emotional wellness.
Side effects of radiation therapy
Antiemetic medicines are used to treat vomiting symptoms. Antiemetics' efficacy is boosted even more by ginger or ginger supplements.
Fatigue is a typical side effect that can occur during specific activities or all of the time and hence adequate amount of rest is required.
3. Appetite loss.
The effects of radiotherapy on one's appetite, metabolism, and eating habits are unknown. As a result, it is critical to consume food on a regular basis.
4.Bleeding problems and a low platelet count
Thrombocytopenia is a decrease in blood platelet count that can lead to blood clotting issues. It can also cause nosebleeds, gum bleeding, and profuse bleeding from skin wounds, necessitating immediate blood transfusions.
Precautions such as not using razors, brushing with a soft toothbrush, and wearing gloves or mittens while working in the kitchen or yard are also essential.
5.Decreased red blood count and Anemia
Anemia is caused by a decrease in red blood cell count. Tiredness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations are some of the symptoms. In this scenario, erythropoietin (EPO) aids in the production of red blood cells.
6.Decreased immunity due to a low white blood cell count
The decrease in white blood cell count may cause immune system dysfunction, making the patient more susceptible to infections and other illnesses. Neutropenia is the medical term for this condition. Antibiotics aid in the reduction of these side effects in this scenario. Precautions such as personal hygiene, food intake, and keeping skin wounds bandaged are also necessary.
7. Hair loss and skin problems
Skin changes such as redness, edoema, peeling, and hair loss may occur in the treated regions. In this scenario, a dermatologist may be of assistance.