It takes a potent form of treatment to battle a potent disease like cancer. One of the most effective cancer treatments is radiation therapy. However, traditional radiation therapy – which involves the use of high doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells – often causes side effects, depending on the type of cancer, its location, the patient’s general health, and the radiation dosage.
The reason for traditional radiation’s side effects is that it not only attacks the tumor, but it also inadvertently affects – and can damage – healthy tissues and organs near the tumor. Some patients experience few, if any, side effects from radiation therapy, but others experience more severe reactions that can last for several weeks after the final treatment.
Radiation Therapy Side Effects
The lingering effects during and after traditional radiation treatment can include:
Fatigue that renders the patient tired and exhausted almost all the time, especially when the radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy.
Skin problems, such as dryness, itching, blistering, or peeling on the area of the body receiving radiation therapy. The radiation goes through the skin to treat the cancer, which is why the skin can be affected.
Site-specific side effects, such as when traditional radiation is focused on the following areas:
- Head or neck: Dry mouth, gum sores, difficulty swallowing, nausea, hair loss, or tooth decay
- Chest: Shortness of breath, cough, fever, or permanent lung scars
- Abdomen: Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
- Pelvic region: Rectal bleeding, incontinence, symptoms of menopause in women, or sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction in men
Can Radiation Side Effects Be Minimized?
Fortunately, there have been major advances in radiation therapy in recent years that have made it more precise, thus reducing the side effects. A prime example is CyberKnife® radiotherapy, which is a safe, noninvasive form of radiation treatment that utilizes state-of-the-art robotics to pinpoint and destroy cancer cells with amazing accuracy. It avoids harming healthy tissues or organs surrounding the targeted tumor.
Also known as The Beam of Life, CyberKnife is so precise that it automatically adjusts to the slightest body movement – such as normal breathing – to keep its focus fixed exclusively on the cancerous tumor. And because the dosage of radiation is so intense, the course of treatment only requires several sessions, which may be completed in as little as one week. Compare that to the weeks or months of traditional radiation therapy.
As a result of CyberKnife’s state-of-the-art precision, accuracy, and potency in treating all forms of cancer, patients experience better outcomes. This specialized radiation treatment is finished in less time and with greater comfort than with standard radiation therapy.
There are few, if any, side effects associated with CyberKnife treatment and no necessary recovery time. After each session, you can immediately resume your normal activities.
Painless Cancer Treatment in Miami, Florida
If you have been diagnosed with any form of cancer, and if radiation therapy has been recommended by your physician, you owe it to yourself to meet with the radiation oncologists at the CyberKnife Center of Miami.
To learn more about this revolutionary technology and to find out whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment, contact us today at (800) 204-0455 or (305) 279-2900 to schedule a private consultation. Or, if you prefer, use our secure, online Request an Appointment form to arrange your visit. We look forward to seeing you here and discussing the possibilities! www.cyberknifemiami.com