When your oncologist first diagnoses you with cancer, they may suggest surgery to help remove the cancer. However, many times, doctors also recommend other therapy such as radiation, hormonal, targeted, immune, or chemotherapy to help target any other existing cancer cells. Radiation is a common form of treatment that many cancer patients don’t know much about. Let’s dig a little deeper into some basics of radiation.
Is Radiation Safe?
You’ve heard it since you were little and probably have repeated it to your kids or grandkids a few times: radiation isn’t safe. So, if radiation is so dangerous, how can it be used positively? In small, regulated doses, radiation may be safe. Under our care, we will monitor the exact doses of radiation that you receive to not only ensure that it’s effective but that it’s safe for your body as well.
Can Radiation Transfer to My Family?
During your radiation treatment, you will be alone in the room for the safety of our staff members. However, although we try to limit our staff’s exposure to frequent radiation, it doesn’t mean it’s contagious. When you go home, none of the radiation is transferable to your friends and family, so if you are worried about putting them at risk, don’t be.
Why Do I Need Radiation If I’ve Had Surgery?
Depending on the type of cancer you have, your oncologist may recommend that you do both surgery and radiation. Even though your tumor may have been successfully removed during surgery, there still may be remnant cancer cells in the area surrounding it. Radiation is used as a way to clean up leftover cancer cells and prevent it from returning.
There are several different types of radiation therapy that we offer our patients here at UTMB Radiology. If you have questions at any point in your treatment process, don’t hesitate to ask. To learn more about radiation or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today!