Radiation therapy destroys the genetic material that controls how cells grow and divide. While both healthy and cancerous cells are damaged by radiation therapy, the goal is to destroy as few normal, healthy cells as possible. Typically, normal cells can often repair much of the damage caused by radiation.
More than half of all people with cancer receive radiation therapy as part of their cancer treatment. Doctors use radiation therapy to treat just about every type of cancer. Radiation therapy is also useful in treating some noncancerous tumours.
Radiation therapy side effects depend on which part of your body is being exposed to radiation and how much radiation is used. You may experience no side effects, or you may experience several. Most side effects are temporary, can be controlled and generally disappear over time once treatment has ended.
The overall cure rate with radiotherapy is 93 per cent with a metastasis-free survival rate of 5 years at 96 per cent. Your cancer may respond to radiation treatment right away, or in other cases, it may take weeks or months for your cancer to respond. And it may not even work for you at all.
The cost of radiotherapy ranges from USD 238 using a cobalt machine to USD 2,163 using an IGRT machine in India.