Cancer is one of the most terrifying prospects when you visit a doctor for any health problems. Unfortunately, we’re far off from diminishing its effects on the human population. Cancer has been one of the leading causes of death for a long time now. It is estimated that in 2020, one out of every six recorded deaths was due to cancer. That’s almost 10 million deaths worldwide! The risks of developing cancer later in our lives have also increased because of our ability to lengthen our lifespan. So what chances do you have at combating this life-threatening health issue? Thankfully, we’re not completely helpless when it comes to combating cancer. Radiation therapy in Singapore is one of the most relied-upon treatments that many people turn to.
Nowadays, there are many treatment options you can explore to combat the growth of cancer. For example, surgery has long been used in conjunction with other treatments to cut out cancer growths. Hormone therapy is recommended in cases where cancer growths happen due to hormone imbalances. Chemotherapy is a well-known medical treatment that involves the use of drugs to kill off cancer cells.
Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays, to kill off cancer cells. There are two main types of radiation therapy: internal and external. These high-powered beams can be administered via implants into your body (internal) or via a machine (external).
Should you get radiation therapy?
Your doctor might recommend more than one option when it comes to treating your medical condition. Radiation therapy might be one of them. The question of whether you should take this route could be a personal one. Before you do this, consult a radiation doctor or other professional in Singapore to make an informed decision.
Out of all the treatment options for cancer, radiation therapy is by far the most effective. That doesn’t mean that it’s 100% fool proof, though. Its success rate will vary from individual to individual. Do your research carefully before deciding if it’s the right type of treatment for you.
Radiotherapy is at its most effective in the early stages of cancer. Patients do extremely well with both internal and external radiation therapy if their cancer is caught in the early stages. The success rate of the treatment can hover around or over 90%! Worldwide, radiation therapy is responsible for nearly 40% of successful cases. Radiotherapy can significantly increase your chances of survival. Even with the rising radiotherapy cost in Singapore, you might want to strongly consider
The Types of radiation therapy
Certain types of cancer, radiation therapy is used to address a wide range of conditions. External beam radiation therapy falls under general treatment, while internal beam (also known as brachytherapy) is more commonly used to treat cancers in the head and neck, breast, prostate, and other sensitive body parts. Ask your radiation oncologist in Singapore for more information on the certain type of radiation therapy you might need.
Radiation therapy is further subdivided into more categories. Here are a few types of treatments that are used to combat cancer cell growth.
1) 3D-CRT. Short for three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, your radiation doctor will form detailed 3D images of the affected area via MRI or CT scans. These images allow your medical team to aim the beam more precisely and limit the damage to surrounding healthy tissue. It’s a common form of external radiation therapy.
2) Temporary internal radiation therapy. This type of internal radiation therapy administers radiation to the patient for only a short time– for example, a few days to minutes. They are applied via special applicators to the body. Usually, the patient must find ways to limit the exposure of radiation to nearby people.
3) Proton beam therapy. If you want to explore a new and potentially revolutionary treatment, check with your radiation doctor if you can explore proton beam therapy. Instead of X-rays, this type of external radiation therapy uses proton beams to target cancer cells. Unlike X-ray beams, though, less radiation will spread beyond your cancer tumour. The therapy is much less likely to damage your healthy tissue.
4) Interstitial brachytherapy. Interstitial brachytherapy is a type of internal radiation therapy that involves placing radioactive wires or needles into the tumour. These needles or wires might stay in the tumour area for a single day, be removed after several days, or stay within the patient’s body permanently.
5) Systemic radiation therapy. Radiation therapy can be administered orally or intravenously. A patient will ingest or receive an injection filled with radioactive material. This radiation will then combat your cancer cells. However, this type of therapy might be harmful to those who come in close contact with the patient. Radiation can leave a person’s body through their bodily fluids. Because of this, you’ll need the expert assistance of an experienced medical team to help you protect yourself and the people around you.
6) Molecular radiotherapy. Also known as targeted radionuclide therapy, this specific type of systemic radiation therapy is used to treat some patients with advanced forms of cancer. Reach out to a radiation oncologist in Singapore to know more about whether this type of treatment can help you.
7) IMRT. Also known as intensity-modulated radiation therapy, this type of therapy is used to treat both cancer and noncancerous tumours. An IMRT machine can control the intensity of each radiation beam, unlike those in 3D-CRT. IMRT is better at avoiding healthy tissue than 3D-CRT.
When you have a serious health condition, radiotherapy might be one of the few medical treatments that can save your life. Dr Johann Tang is a Mount Elizabeth radiation doctor that you can turn to for various medical services. Reach out to his clinic via their website.