Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cancer Radiation Therapy
Cancer radiation therapy uses ionizing rays such as X-rays, gamma rays, or nuclear particles to kill cells by inhibiting their ability to divide. The control of the rays involved has become very precise and medical practitioners are skilled at shielding the other cells of the body from being affected by the radiation, because it kills all types of cells indiscriminately. Generally, radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) is offered to patients in conjunction with surgery and it eliminates those cancerous cells that linger after the surgical procedure has been completed. Given the specialist equipment and training required to offer this treatment, patients must be able to travel to the service center (hospital) and to afford ...