Mesothelioma Treatment- External Beam Radiation
External Beam Radiation is a type of radiation. Though radiation is the oldest form to treat mesothelioma, it is one of the three main types of treatment options.
In radiation therapy, oncologist can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors but as cancer is near lungs and heart it becomes very challenging to shrink the tumor.
There is new option- Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) to target cancer cells more accurately and save healthy tissues from damaging and give better results.
Side effects of radiation therapy are less than Chemotherapy.
External Beam Radiation treatment is used in all stages.
There are two types of radiation to treat mesothelioma-
- External Beam Radiation
- Internal Radiation Therapy
External Beam Radiation
The External Beam Radiation is the most widely used form. Most people are familiar with External Beam Radiation treatment. This is the original form of radiation therapy.
In External Beam Radiation-
- High energy rays are used to target a malignant tumor for elimination or making the growth of malignant cells slow in that area.
- This is performed by an experienced radiologist.
- This is performed with the help of machine delivering external source of radiation directly to the affected area where the tumor is located.
- The External Beam Radiation treatment is fast and painless as the administering machine slowly moves around the body without touching.
- For this treatment it is not necessary to admit in hospital.
- The External Beam Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells and stop them from multiplying.
- During treatment, technician controls administering machine in another room but there is intercom system to talk with patient who is being treated in the room having radiations.
- Patient is asked to lie flat on a table and avoid exposure of certain parts of the body by covering with shields which can deflect the beams.
- Patient can hear the noise is the indication that machine is working properly.
- Patient can speak to the technician via intercom.
- Recommendation of dosage depends upon type of cancer, its location, size, general health of a patient.
- Most session duration is of 10 to 30 minutes.
In External Beam Radiation therapy, sometimes healthy cells are also affected but to lessen this, the linear accelerator is guided by the computer which can deliver specific dose to particular area making sure that healthy cells are not damaged.
Patient is treated usually for five days a week for several weeks with External Beam Radiation.