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Radiation therapy works by destroying cancerous cells and preventing them from growing.


​​​Why is radiation used to treat cancer? What are the side effects?

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to destroy or damage the DNA inside cancerous cells and prevent them from growing. Radiation is used to treat a variety of cancers. It can be given alone or in combination with other treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy. More than 50 percent of cancer patients may need radiation during their treatments.

The therapy prescribed by a radiation oncologist depends on multiple factors including the type, stage, and location of cancer, as well as a patient’s overall health and ability to tolerate treatment. Most cancer patients are treated with external-beam radiation where the radiation is delivered similar to a chest X-ray.

Kelsey-Seybold has advanced technology for radiation therapy. The Varian TrueBeam allows us to safely deliver radiation treatments quickly for a more comfortable experience for the patient. This faster delivery also reduces the chance of tumor motion during treatment, which helps protect nearby healthy tissue.

Side effects vary from patient to patient and depend on the part of the body treated as well as the radiation dose. Common side effects include fatigue and skin changes. During radiation treatments, our patients are seen on a weekly basis to help manage side effects early.