The Complete Guide to Radiation Therapy and How It Affects Your Brain

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radiation therapy Farmington

radiation therapy Farmington is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It can be used to shrink tumors, destroy cancer cells that have spread to other parts of the body, and relieve symptoms. Radiation therapy can be an effective treatment for brain cancer, but it can also cause side effects. In this guide, we will explore how radiation therapy affects your brain, both during and after treatment. We will also provide tips on how to cope with these side effects.

What is radiation therapy?

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be used to treat brain cancer. It works by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, which makes it difficult for them to grow and divide. Radiation therapy is usually given as part of a standard treatment plan for brain cancer. It is often combined with surgery and chemotherapy.

How radiation therapy works

Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves to kill cancer cells. It works by damaging the DNA inside the cells, which makes it hard for them to grow and divide.

Radiation therapy can be given in two ways: externally, from a machine outside the body, or internally, from a device placed inside the body. The type of radiation therapy you receive depends on the type of cancer you have and where it is in your body.

External radiation therapy is the most common type of radiation therapy. It targets cancer cells with high-energy waves, much like X-rays. The beams are directed at the tumor from a machine outside the body.

Internal radiation therapy puts radioactive material directly into or near the tumor. The radioactive material might be in liquid form, called a solution, or it might be in tiny seeds that are placed directly into the tumor (brachytherapy).

The side effects of radiation therapy

Radiation therapy can have a number of side effects, some of which can be serious. The most common side effect is fatigue, which can be debilitating. Other common side effects include:

  • Skin reactions: Radiation therapy can cause the skin to become red, dry, and itchy. It can also lead to hair loss in the treated area.
  • Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms are typically mild and resolve on their own. However, some people may require medication to control them.
  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a common side effect of radiation therapy and can be very severe. It is important to drink plenty of fluids and eat a high-fiber diet to help control this symptom.
  • Cognitive changes: Some people who undergo radiation therapy experience changes in their thinking, memory, and concentration. These changes usually resolve over time, but some people may experience long-term cognitive impairment.

How radiation therapy affects the brain

Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. The beams can also damage healthy tissue, which can lead to side effects.

One possible side effect of radiation therapy is cognitive impairment, which can affect thinking, memory, and other mental functions. The severity of cognitive impairment depends on the area of the brain that is treated with radiation. The frontal lobe and temporal lobe are typically more affected than the parietal lobe and occipital lobe.

Cognitive impairment from radiation therapy is usually temporary and improves over time. However, some people may experience long-term cognitive problems.

If you are undergoing radiation therapy, it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and side effects. There are ways to help manage cognitive side effects, such as using memory aids and strategies to stay organized.

Treatments for brain cancer

There are many different types of brain cancer, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what treatments are available. However, some common treatment options for brain cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Surgery is often the first line of treatment for brain cancer, and it can be used to remove the tumor or to relieve pressure on the brain. Radiation therapy uses high-energy waves to kill cancer cells, and it may be used before or after surgery. Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells, and it may be given as a pill or injected into a vein.

Clinical trials are another option for treatment, and they offer patients the chance to try new treatments that are not yet widely available. Clinical trials are important for helping to develop new treatments for brain cancer, and they can provide patients with access to cutting-edge therapies.

Conclusion

Radiation therapy can be a lifesaving treatment for cancer patients, but it’s also important to understand how it can affect your brain. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of radiation therapy, from how it works to its potential side effects. By understanding all that radiation therapy entails, you can make the best decision for your own health and well-being.

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