Radiation Therapy in Bangalore

In recent years, the understanding of proposed hallmarks in the development of cancer treatment has made notable progress. Cancer treatment includes radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and hormonal therapy.

About 50% of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy at some point during their illness, making it a crucial part of cancer treatment. In addition, 40% of curative cancer treatment is radiation therapy. The primary objective of radiation therapy is to kill the tumour cells while not damaging the adjoining normal organs.

You can receive expert advice on a wide range of advanced cancer treatments at MACS Clinic, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy in Bangalore. The hospital comprises a team of expert surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists.

First, let’s understand,

What is Radiation Oncology?

radiation therapy Radiation Oncology is a branch of medicine wherein cancer cells are killed or destroyed using high-energy particles or waves like X-rays, electron beams, gamma rays or protons.

What is Radiation Therapy?

Our body cells are born, perform the assigned function, multiples/divide to produce their progeny and finally die off as programmed. But compared to most normal cells, cancer cells are damaged cells that grow and divide faster and uncontrollably with no intrinsic programming to die. Radiation therapy works by making small breaks in the DNA of these cancerous cells.

These breaks in DNA stop the growth and division of cancer cells and ultimately lead to their death. Radiation can also cause temporary damage to nearby normal cells, but most recover and resume their normal functions in due course of time.

Chemotherapy and other cancer-fighting medications taken orally or through the veins expose the entire body. In contrast, radiation therapy is a local treatment that targets only a particular area of your body. For example, if you have lung cancer, you will only receive radiation to your chest and not the rest of your body.

Radiation therapies are designed and delivered in such a way that it kills cancer cells while causing minimal harm to nearby healthy cells. Sometimes radiation therapy is the only course of action.

Additionally, it may be given with other treatments like surgery or chemotherapy to:radiation therapy in bangalore

  • Shrink the tumour to make it as small as possible before surgery.
  • To detach tumours from nearby structures making them more operable.
  • Prevent the recurrence of cancer following surgery or chemotherapy.
  • Relieve tumor-related symptoms like pain,obstruction, bleeding, etc.
  • To prevent skeletal events such as fracture.
  • Treat cancers that surgery cannot remove.

Now, let’s look at,

Different Types of Radiation Therapy

At MACS Clinic, one of the leading radiotherapy hospitals cancer clinics in Bangalore, you will receive a specific type of radiation therapy based on various factors, such as:

  • the type of cancer
  • the tumor’s location in the body
  • the size and spread or stage of the tumour
  • how close the tumour is to radiation-sensitive normal tissues
  • your general health and medical history
  • whether you will be receiving other types of cancer treatments
  • other factors, such as your age and other medical conditions.

External beam radiation therapy involves a machine that directs radiation toward your tumor externally. The device is huge and could be slightly noisy. Although it doesn’t physically touch you, it can move around you and radiate on the affected area of your body from different angles.

IORT is often given when a tumour needs surgical removal. Radiation is given to the area of the tumour cavity before the surgeon closes the incision after the tumour has been removed. IORT is administered only to select patients who meet all the criteria as set by the treating team. The benefits of IORT over external radiation are as follows:

  • Only the tumor area is targeted to minimize damage to healthy tissue.
  • There is only one radiation dose administered bringing down the total treatment time drastically.
  • Delivers a smaller yet equally effective dose of radiation.

It is a form of internal radiation therapy in which the oncologist inserts radiation-containing needles, specialised applicators, seeds, ribbons, or capsules into or near the tumour.

Hence with brachytherapy, we are able to deliver extremely large amount of doses to tumours with minimal damage to nearby structures. Typically, cancers of the head and neck, breast, cervix, uterus, prostate, food pipe and eye are treated with it with or without external radiotherapy.

Types of Cancer treated with Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is beneficial in the treatment of several types of cancers, including:

  • Gynaecological Cancers
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Breast Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal tumours
  • Lymphomas
  • Brain Tumours
  • Bone cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer

And many more.

Benefits of Radiation Therapy

Almost any part of the body can benefit from radiation therapy in treating various cancers. Radiation therapy is sometimes the only therapy required for certain types of cancers.

Radiation therapy has several advantages, including:

  • It is an outpatient treatment; hospitalisation is not necessary most of the time.
  • It is safe, effective and painless
  • There is no need of Anesthesia, or incision or knife
  • It is organ preserving in nature, for example, certain cancers in voice box can be treated while not losing voice
  • It is not hazardous to the relatives or caretakers, that is after treatment patient can continue to interact with people around normally.
  • Mostly it does not require you to deviate from your lifestyle in terms of food or activities

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy affects everyone differently. Your doctor might tell you a spectrum of side effects before the treatment. It’s important to note that you might end up having a few or no side effects at all or may experience something of the usual.

Most of the side effects are temporary and manageable; chronic persistent ones are few.The severity and number of side effects vary depending on the individual propensities, location, spread and type of cancer and general health. In addition, your condition before cancer diagnosis may also impact your response to treatment.

Some of the common side effects of radiation therapy include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and sometimes vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Skin colour change
  • Shedding of the outer layer of skin
  • Low levels of blood cells

More important are side effects that are specific to the treatment site. For eg., A person undergoing radiation for a head/neck tumour could have difficulty in swallowing, oral ulcers, decreased saliva production etc while a person undergoing treatment for cervical cancer would not experience most of the side effects. Their side effect profile would consist of change in bladder or bowel habits, abdominal pain etc.

We usually meet our patients at least once a week or even more often if need be, to discuss the side effects or even preventing some of the anticipated side effects. Inform your healthcare provider if you experience radiation side effects. Sometimes, even small changes can have significant impacton limiting side effects. You might get suggestions or medicines to help with the discomfort.


Is radiation therapy painful?

The administration of radiation therapy does not hurt at all. But some patients may feel pain or discomfort due to side effects of radiation therapy such as oral ulcers, inflammations, etc.

How long does a radiotherapy course typically last?

There is a wide variation in the duration (which could span anywhere from 1 day to 8 weeks) depending upon the treatment type tailored by your Radiation oncologist based on your cancer type, stage, tumour biology and many other factors. Typically treatment is delivered 5 days a week, 1 sitting per day, with rest on week-ends.

What is the duration of each treatment session?

Treatment time can vary from 5-60 minutes as per the dose per sitting, treatment volume and technique used. This is also influenced by additional breath holding techniques, bladder protocol, imaging processes for verification etc planned by your radiation oncologist as per need.

What should I avoid during radiation therapy?

We do not support the notion of excessive food restrictions during radiation therapy. A balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and micronutrients is very important for the patient to stay strong and safely tide through the demanding course of treatment. Generally it is advised to stay away from foods that are too spicy or too oily. Food restrictions specific to side effects may be advised during the course of treatment, for eg transition from solid to soft diet to liquid diet during the course of treatment in a tongue cancer patient.

Will I still be radioactive after my treatment?

No, receiving radiation therapy won’t turn you radioactive. Typically, the treatment rays generated by our equipment enter and exits your body while leaving no radioactive residues.