Radiation

Radiation treatment affects the tumor with ionizing radiation – that is, high energy beams that affect the genetic material of the cells killing them og causing them to stop dividing. Radiation treatment is one of the most common forms of cancer treatment. It is used both as a standalone treatment and in combination with surgery, chemo or both. Radiation is, for example, used after surgery to lessen the risk of the cancer returning.

When the tumor is exposed to radiation the genetic material within the cancer cells is changed causing the cells to die or stop dividing. Radiation is used both to cure and soothe. The symptoms of cancer in the bones, brain or lungs, for example, can be lessened through treatment with radiation.

How the beams work
The beams that are used in cancer treatment are so called ionizing beams. These beams are capable of detaching electrons from the molecules in the cells, thereby creating ions. The ions will then try to react with other ions, and that changes the DNA of the cells, stripping them of their ability to divide.

X-rays are usually used in radiation treatment. The rays used in treatment are, however, much more potent than those used to take X-ray-pictures. If the cancer is close to the body’s surface, electron beams are. If the cancer resides deep within the body, however, little pieces of radioactive matter are instead inserted through small tubes directly into the tumor.

Treatment and side effects
A special CT-scan is oftentimes used before radiation treatment begins. The scan localizes the area in the body that is to be radiated. The actual treatment is painless, and the radiation beams only hit the area where the cancer is. The radiation-equipment today is capable of targeting cancer areas very precisely, so only a very small number of healthy cells are damaged.
However, the healthy cells within the radiated areas are affected by the treatment, and this is what causes the side effects such as tiredness, hair loss in the radiated area and irritation of the mucous membranes around the tumor. Treatment takes place in several rounds. The time between rounds allows the normal cells a chance to recover. Most normal cells will recover after the treatment.

Read more about radiation treatment and its side effects at www.cancer.dk


More fruit and veggies

1500 - 4000 new cancer diagnosis per year in Denmark, could be avoided by eating more fruits and vegetables.

(Source: Kræftens Bekæmpelse). 

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Sweet but good

Eat chocolate - in moderation about 40 grams of chokolate 70% cocoa a day.


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