About External Beam Radiation
This is one of the most common methods of therapeutic radiation. This cancer treatment procedure uses very high doses of radiation in order to destroy cancer cells while also attempting to shrink the size of the targeted tumor. The length of this treatment depends heavily on what type of cancer, and what stage. On average, this treatment is completed within 2-10 weeks of 30 minute to 1 hour sessions.
What to Expect
Most likely, you would meet with your doctors a few days prior to your treatment. They will inform you of how the treatment works, and its side effects.
A few tests will also be administered before your treatment such as x-rays, CT scans, and a physical examination from your doctor.
In order to keep you from moving during this procedure, a body mold may be made prior to your treatment appointment. This will also allow the radiation therapist to target the affected area more accurately.
The doctor or radiation therapist will mark your body with a marker to indicate when the beams need to be aimed. The therapist will then perform the rest of the treatment from the control room where he/she will be able to communicate with you through an intercom during your treatment.
Dealing with side effects
Your body tissue is trying to repair itself as the radiation is trying to destroy the tumor, so you may experience some side effects. This is normal. To learn more about potential side effects and how to manage them, please click here.