How does radiation therapy work?
Ionizing rays penetrate through tissues and in each session they destroy a part of diseased cells. It is much like a bloodless surgery – since it “kills” a certain number of cells daily. Changes in healthy tissue during the healing rate are expressed as an acute radiation reaction, and after the 6th month – as a beam complication, similar to bleeding after surgery and leaving a scar.
In radiation therapy diseased cells are more vulnerable, while healthy tissue recovers more quickly between each exposure to radiation.
Radiotherapy is one of the main therapies in oncology together with chemotherapy, surgery, immunotherapy and target treatment; it provides an organ-saving approach where the speech system, rectum, anus, lung, prostate and other organs are fully or partially preserved (saved) while maintaining their function after recovery. Radiosurgery is the most advanced method of radiation therapy where radiation is performed as a bloodless surgery (without scalpel) practically for (to) all organs in the human body.
The department is equipped with two Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators. One of them has STX specifications aimed at the formation of small high-focused fields of radiation. Currently, these are the latest generation of radiotherapy devices. The department has a modern brachitherapeutic system for some specific tumors. The whole complex of unique instruments at disposal of City Clinic allows the most advanced treatments in oncology.
The most frequent cases in need of radiation therapy are:
- Brain malignant and benign tumors, including the so called arteriovenous malformations and brain metastases
- All tumors of the throat, mouth, speech system, nose, ears, and metastases in the neck
- Malignant tumors of the breast, lung and mediastinum
- Malignant tumors of the rectum and anus
- Malignant tumors of female and male genitalia
- Malignant tumors of bones and soft tissue
- Tumors of the pituitary and thyroid associated ophthalmopathy
- Malignant lymphomas
- Metastases in bone marrow, soft tissue, lymph nodes, lung, etc.
This method uses X-rays similar to those of the X-ray images, but much more powerful – passing through the skin and delivering a radiation dose deep into the body, where the tumor is located. It usually takes a few X-rays entering the body from different angles.