Radiation Therapy & Radiooncology
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Specialists in the Field of Radiation Therapy & Radiooncology
Radiological Alliance – Interdisciplinary Center for Radiosurgery
Radiation Therapy / Gamma Knife
Treatment Focus Radiation Therapy & Radiooncology
Informations About Radiation Therapy & Radiooncology
What Is Radiotherapy?
The diagnosis of cancer implies a profound break in human life. As a consequence, the patient is confronted with different therapy options. Besides surgery and chemotherapy, radiotherapy is the third pillar of modern tumor treatment.
Radiotherapy, or radio-oncology, is a combination of radiology, the science of radiation and oncology, and the science of malignant tumors. It is a rapidly developing special field.
When Is Radiotherapy Used?
Cooperation with other areas of expertise is especially important for the special field radio oncology. Radiation therapy may also become necessary before (neoadjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery, depending on the disease.
Radiologists, radio-oncologists, oncologists, surgeons, and internists work closely together in this field and thereby guarantee the best possible chances of recovery.
Some diseases can be cured by radiotherapy alone, others only in combination with chemotherapy or surgery. But, radiotherapy is also essential for incurable cancers. It offers the possibility of reducing the size of the tumor and to relieve the patient's discomfort by that.
Radiation therapy for cancer is not the only treatment carried out by radiotherapists. Radiotherapy with X-ray stimulating radiation can also relieve symptoms and prevent the progression of inflammatory and degenerative diseases.
Radiotherapy is used for these significant diseases:
Radiotherapy for Cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Lung cancer
- Bowel cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- ENT tumors
- Brain tumors
Radiotherapy for Inflammatory and Degenerative Diseases
What types of Radiotherapy Are Used by Radio Oncology?
Nowadays, a part of the destructive power of rays of different origins is used to heal patients. Many improvements were and are still necessary for that. In particular, increasing the target accuracy of the tumors and sparing as much as possible of the surrounding healthy tissue is one of the main achievements of the past years and decades. The radiation dose is individually adjusted for this purpose. In addition, different variants of applying radiation have been developed.
Methods of percutaneous radiation (radiotherapy from outside)
- Conformation radiation
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
- Proton radiation
- Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)
Special treatment procedures in radio-oncology
- Brachytherapy (internal radiation)
- Hyperthermia (heating treatment for cancer cells)
- HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound)
What Are the Side Effects of Cancer Radiation?
Possible side effects of radiotherapy depend on the intensity of the radiation and the body region to be irradiated. Normally, side effects only occur regionally and are usually temporary.
Typical side effects are:
- Skin reddening
- Loss of appetite
- Mucosa inflammation
A Brief History of Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy is based on inventions of the X-ray equipment in the 20th century. Wilhelm Röntgen discovered the ability of invisible rays to penetrate the human body in 1895. He was then able to record this in an image. This discovery earned him the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901.
In the beginning, X-rays were used careless and served fascinating gimmicks, among others, for checking the fit of the shoes in shoe shops. A little later, however, the destructive aftertaste of X-rays became apparent. Excessive doses of radiation caused permanent skin damage and organ damage that were not visible from the outside.
Wannemache, M., Debus, J., Wenz, F. (2013). Strahlentherapie (2nd edition).
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