How is radiation therapy used in the treatment of ovarian cancer?
Radiation therapy is the least preferred treatment option for ovarian cancer. Radiation therapy uses high energy X-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. Also, it can be useful where it comes to treating areas near the tumor or in distant regions that are away from the tumor. There are different methods of radiation therapy that works for ovarian cancer; find them below.
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)
This procedure uses a machine that focuses a beam on the area that has cancer. Firstly, EBRT is the primary type of radiation therapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer. The duration of delivery is only for a few minutes five days a week for several weeks.
Brachytherapy or internal radiation. Here, a radio-oncologist inserts a device containing radioactive pellets or seeds in the body near cancerous area. However, this method is rarely in use.
Palliative radiation therapy
The goal of palliative treatment is to reduce cancer symptoms to improve the patient’s quality of life. Before the development of effective chemotherapy, abdominal radiation was conventional for patients with ovarian cancer. Doctors recommend lower than regular doses of chemotherapy to treat the entire abdominal area.
When ovarian cancers become resistant to chemotherapy, doctors recommend palliative radiation therapy. Palliative radiation therapy is for circumstances when cancer has spread to critical areas and cause symptoms such as pain or weakness.
Furthermore, palliative radiation therapy will help ease out the signs and give the patient some relief. Usually, the radio-oncologist suggests an effective dosage that will be tolerant by the tissues and organs in the surrounding area.
Delivery of radiation therapy
A linear accelerator that produces high energy radiation beams that penetrate through the tissue and burn the tumourous region. Skin burns rarely occur with modern radiation therapy. Moreover, radio-oncologists deliver radiation beams to the abdomen region for widespread ovarian cancer.
See more on treatment for ovarian cancer here.