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MY MEDICAL SUITCASE RADIOTHERAPY

WHAT IS RADIATION THERAPY?

Cancer

Radiation therapy is one of the most effective treatments for cancer.

Radio

One in two cancer patients will receive radiation therapy during their illness.

It can be used in the following ways:

  • Primary: In this case radiotherapy is the main treatment for the patient’s cancer.
  • Adjuvant: After surgery to decrease the risk of recurrence.
  • Neoadjuvant : Before surgery to facilitate the resection and reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • Symptomatic: To reduce certain cancer-related side effects: pain, bleeding and other symptoms.
Radiothérapie

Radiotherapy can be used alone or as a concurrent treatment in combination with surgery or other methods, such as chemotherapy.

Jeune femme recevant des soins

Radiotherapy makes it possible to precisely target the tumour while preserving the healthy tissue and at risk organs as much as possible. Healthy cells surrounding the tumour may be affected by radiation exposure, but their resistance and regenerative capacity allows them to quickly recover.

 

Radiotherapy works by creating breaks in the DNA molecules of the cells.

These breaks can be caused directly by radiation or indirectly by the effect of free radicals that come from radiation-induced water degradation.

These breaks make it impossible to divide the cell and lead to its death.

The effectiveness of radiotherapy on tumours comes from the fact that cancer is due to an accumulation of mutations.

In the natural history of cancer, for these mutations to occur, DNA repair mechanisms must fail. It is otherwise unlikely to see so many mutations in a single cell.

In fact, the breaks created by radiation therapy cannot be properly repaired in the cancer cells and lead to their death.

 

In contrast, healthy cells will repair these breaks and therefore survive. This is called the differential effect and it is why radiation therapy works.

The death of cancer cells caused by radiation therapy also allows the immune system to recognize the cancer and fight the spread of the cancer.

Numerous association trials between immunotherapy and radiotherapy based on this principle are currently underway.

Jeune femme recevant des soins dans le dos