Radiation Therapy

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What do cancer, radiation, and technology have in common? The links between the three are quite extraordinary. Cancer is a disease that accounts for 13% of all deaths in the world (Delfino and Day 1). The disease has an impact on patients, friends and their love ones. According to WebMD, radiation is energy that travels in the form of waves through radiation therapy. Through radiation therapy, radiation is used to stop, slow or cure the growth of cancer. With technology, radiologists can treat cancer patients through radiation and special computerized imaging (WebMD). Radiation is one of the main forms of energy (Pettigrew 1). In today’s environment we are only familiar with the basic types of radiation. These types are in the form of light, radio, televisions, etc. But there are more powerful forms of radiation that are both dangerous and beneficial to human life. Radiation used to treat cancer is called ionized radiation. Alpha, beta, and gamma radiation are considered ionized radiation. Each one has different property and purpose. Alpha radiation is the most dangerous radiation. Once inhaled or digested, it can tear through cells, leaving extensive damage. Beta rays can cause skin burns and, when ingested, cancer. Gamma radiation rays are similar to X-rays, but are much more powerful (National Cancer Institute). Cancer is treatable with the proper amounts of radiation. This form of treatment is called radiation therapy. About half of all people with cancer need radiation therapy as part of their overall treatment plan at some point in their illness (Dollinger, Rosenbaum 62). Radiation therapy (sometimes called radiotherapy, x-ray therapy, or irradiation) is the treatment of disease using penetrating beams of high energy waves or streams of particles called radiation (Nih 5). The radiation used for cancer treatment comes from special machines or from radioactive substances (5). Radiation therapy equipment aims specific amounts of radiation at tumors or...
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