Radiation therapy is the treatment of disease using penetrating beams of radiation. The purpose of radiation therapy is to destroy or damage cancer cells. Radiation therapy injures or destroys cells by damaging their genetic material, making it impossible for these cells to continue to grow and divide. The goal of radiation therapy is to damage as many cancer cells as possible, while limiting harm to nearby healthy tissue.
In some cases, radiation treatment results in the complete destruction of a tumor. In other cases, the aim is to shrink the tumor to relieve symptoms. About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy may be used alone or combined with other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or surgery. There are various types of radiation and different ways to deliver the therapy:
- External Radiation: External Beam Radiation, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, Image Guided Radiation Therapy, Gamma Knife
- Internal Radiation: High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, Seed Implants
Palmetto Health provides the most advanced radiation therapies for patients through a partnership with South Carolina Oncology Associates.