Specialists in the Field of Radiation Therapy

Treatment Focus Radiation Therapy


Informations About Radiation Therapy

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

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)

Special treatment procedures in radio-oncology

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
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mucosa inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

How much does Radiation Therapy cost?

For patients from abroad, the costs for radiation therapy in Germany are strictly regulated by the federal government (GOÄ department). German doctors are not entitled to set their own fee for medical services. You are legally obliged to adhere to the official fixed tariffs for doctors.

In order to be able to calculate the costs for radiation therapy, doctors and clinics in Germany and Switzerland first need detailed information about the specific cancer disease. These data can be sent to the hospital in the form of doctor's letters, findings or images prior to treatment. The Radiation Therapy Center then prepares a cost estimate. In most cases, the amount due must be paid before the start of treatment.

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.

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