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In the year 2017, it is estimated by the American Cancer Society that 252,710 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed. Even though breast cancer is by far one of the most common cancer types, it is also one of the most treatable thanks to the advances of modern medicine. One form of treatment that your doctor may recommend if you are diagnosed with breast cancer is radiation therapy. While radiation therapy may sound scary and threatening, it really is not as bad as it sounds. Take a look at some of the most common questions about radiation therapy and the answers you will want to know through breast cancer treatment.
What exactly is radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy, which is also simply called radiotherapy by some physicians, is a localized way to kill cancer cells in the breast. Radiotherapy for breast cancer cell elimination is most often performed after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. However, if the cancer is localized or small to start with, radiotherapy can also be used as the primary form of treatment. the therapy involves sending radioactive ways through the breast tissue to target cancerous cells. The high heat of the radiation raises the temperature of the cells and causes them to naturally die.
Is radiotherapy for breast cancer treatment painful?
For most people, radiotherapy for breast cancer is not as painful as they expect. The symptoms you will experience with treatment usually involve things like localized skin irritation or pain, which is easily treatable with prescription and over-the-counter medications. Unlike chemotherapy, radiotherapy does not interfere with the other bodily systems as much, which makes it a much more desirable form of treatment for both patients and doctors. However, some patients may experience adverse reactions to the therapy like fatigue and chest pain.
How long does radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer take?
The treatment sessions can range in time lengths depending on the location and depth of the cancer. Most of the time, your radiotherapy sessions will be broken up into several sessions to make them more tolerable and easy to handle. How long you will have to take treatments will depend on the effectiveness of the radiation therapy at eliminating the cancer cells.
Even though breast cancer and the treatments available can be scary, you must keep in mind that the end goal is to help you maintain a quality of life. Make sure you talk openly with your doctor (Firelands Regional Medical Center is a wonderful place to start) about radiotherapy treatment before you begin your own treatments.Share