Radiation treatments have come a long way. Today’s state-of-the-art procedures including AccuBoost, brachytherapy, hyperthermia, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and stereotactic body radiation therapy use advanced technologies, including linear accelerators, to precisely target areas while preserving the integrity of unaffected areas to a large degree.
Radiation therapy is used to treat over half of all cancer patients along with patients with other severe medical conditions. This key treatment, planned and executed by qualified radiation oncology specialists, is an essential protocol in treating a myriad of diseases and forms of cancer by one of the most accurate, non-invasive means available.
The health and safety of the patient are the most important considerations which is demonstrated by the time and care that goes into the planning and preparation undertaken on an individual basis. Only after a thorough consultation and review of each patient’s medical history, current status, test results, and overall physical and emotional well-being are considered, is a plan prepared.
Radiation therapy is used either as a curative or palliative resource. As a curative resource, radiation is utilized in an attempt to eliminate tumors or as a preventative tool to inhibit recurring tumors. As a palliative resource, radiation is used to relieve symptoms, pain, and patient suffering.
Radiation therapy is a painless process and can be completed very quickly. Advanced radiation therapies using linear accelerators, for example, require as little as 10 minutes to fully complete the procedure.
Advances embraced by the industry have proven to reduce and, in some cases, eliminate some of the most undesirable side effects noted with radiation therapy of the past. Side effects vary in intensity and by symptom, and are often unique to each individual.
Patient concerns are addressed within any treatment plan as to what can be expected and the protocol for any adjustment to the plan. Mild to moderate side effects are often noted but can be mitigated through many ways including proper preparation, meditation, focused concentration, and the benefits of social and emotional support.
Should severe side effects occur, they are immediately confronted by actively introducing medication to counteract the effects or amending the treatment in terms of dosage or by a number of other means to correct the situation.
The benefits of the accepted position that “knowledge is power” contributes greatly to each treatment plan. Patients are advised of every aspect of the process, including the known and potential side effects of the procedures, in order to make informed decisions about their care and to thoughtfully prepare and plan their personal treatment and recovery strategy.
In Denver, Colorado and across the United States, a little dose of radiation goes a long way to provide a lot of cure.