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Radiation Therapy

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy, also referred to as radiotherapy, is the treatment of cancer using high doses of radiation to eliminate cancer cells and shrink tumors. At high doses, radiation therapy kills cancer cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and removed by the body.

Radiation therapy does not kill cancer cells right away. It takes days or weeks of treatment before DNA is damaged enough for cancer cells to die. Then, cancer cells keep dying for weeks or months after radiation therapy ends.

Side Effects from Radiation Therapy

It is important to keep in mind that everyone will have different reactions to their treatment plan and speak to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any discomfort from the symptoms below:

Location of Treatment

(Click to see symptoms)

Click here to visit the National Cancer Institute for more information about radiation therapy:

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