The inventor of radiation and radiotherapy, Mary Curie, died due to the effects of radiation when she was exposed to radiation over years, which means radiation has the nature of killing even normal cells.

The radiotherapy works on the following mechanisms

  1. Radiation emitted by the radio therapeutic material will inhibit the growth of tumor cells which eventually kill the cells.

  2. Radiation from the material could seriously damage the tumor cells structure and functions leading to death of cells which in turn reduces the bulk of cells.

  3. Radiation effect inhibits the growth and development of tumor cells by blocking the nutritional needs of the tumor cells.

  4. Excessive heat and destructive nature of radio isotopes will completely erode the tumor cells by a continual application for some weeks.

  5. The ionizing radiation can be internal or external. If the material is installed into the tumor site, it is called internal. If the radiation is emitted from an outside source without any internal fixation, and then it is an external type of radiotherapy.

As the diagnosis is being confirmed, be active in listening and following the instructions given by the therapist and be in constant touch with the doctor/therapist until the cancer cells are completely eradicated.

  • You may be positioned on a radiation couch and asked to lie still. You may be moved into the radiation unit, which can produce a noise that is strange and unfamiliar while emitting radiation.

  • Pre-radiation marking is done by imaging studies like an MRI or a CT scan to confirm the mass and the extent of spread. It will be marked by a strong inky material on which the radiation is directed and the surrounding normal tissue areas will be covered safely because exposure of normal tissues to radiation is very harmful.

  • It is mandatory for your therapist to administer the therapy until the number of cancer cells gradually dies and becomes zero or at least gets reduced from prior status, and if you are on a chemotherapy, your chemotherapy may need to be continued along with these radiations.

  • You may need to discuss any fluid and dietary modifications before undergoing the radiation treatment as some doctors or therapists suggest this. Some of the specific sites where radiation is necessary will state a rule of “nil per orem” or nothing by mouth.

  • Every radiation therapy visit needs some changes in its plan of treatment if the size of the tumor is reduced gradually. Marking the area once again according to the imaging results is necessary. As the treatment is in progress, the area of irradiation also changes.

  • You may be instructed to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Some patients can also experience nausea and vomiting. However, this will automatically disappear after 3-4 hours of treatment so it need not be alarmed or concerned.