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Radiotherapy - Unit 33: Physical Science for Health

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Samantha Brooksbank

on 17 November 2014

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Transcript of Radiotherapy - Unit 33: Physical Science for Health

Radiotherapy - Unit 33: Physical Science for Health
What is Radiotherapy?
What type of radiation does Radiotherapy use?

What does Radiotherapy treat?

How might CT Scans and Radiotherapy work together?

Radiotherapy and Cancer
Used alone or with Chemotherapy to cure cancer

Uses X-Ray and Gamma Rays

Incurable cancer - very effective at reducing symptoms

Used before surgery to shrink a tumour so it's easier to remove
After surgery to destroy small amounts
of tumour that may be left
How is Radiotherapy Performed?
1. Plan the beam (CT SCAN will be used)
2. Work out how much radiation is needed

How does Radiotherapy Work?
External - uses a linear accelerator - focuses high-energy radiation beams onto the area requiring treatment.
Done over a series of days and weeks

Internal - small piece of radioactive material or liquid temporarily placed inside the body near the cancerous cells
Can cause discomfort when implanted
The type of radiotherapy and the timing will depend on the type of cancer.

3. Area exposed to radiation - radiotherapy field
4. Normal tissue will be exposed but they will keep it as low as possible to reduce side effects
How does Radiotherapy work? - The Science
Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging their DNA

Radiation therapy can either damage DNA directly
create charged particles (free radicals) within the cells that can in turn damage the DNA.

Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die.

They are broken down and eliminated by the body’s natural processes.

*Can also kill normal cells and DNA*
What is Cancer?
abnormal cells that divide without control and are able to invade other tissues
Lower level Gamma Rays = Gives Cancer
Higher level Gamma Rays = Kills Cancer

What do H&SC Professionals need to be aware of?
Full transcript