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Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer

One of the treatments suggested for esophageal cancer is radiation therapy

. Radiation therapy is one of the first lines of defense against the esophageal cancer. This therapy is often used to treat second and third stages of esophageal cancer along with chemotherapy and surgery. It is used for reducing the symptoms and provides a better quality life for the patients in fourth stage.

In the treatment of esophageal cancer, radiation therapy is one of the standard therapies used. In this kind of treatment, x-rays of high energy or other kind of radiations are used for killing the malignant tumor cells and also for inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. The radiation therapy for esophageal cancer can be classified into two types as internal radiation therapy and external radiation therapy.

Internal radiation therapy is also called as Brach therapy. This type of therapy involves placing of small wires, seeds, catheters or needles which contain the radio active material directly inside the body in the cancer cells or beside the cancer cells. This type can be used often for managing the symptoms of esophageal cancer and it can minimize the tumor size. It can also relieve the pain and difficulty in swallowing. But this type of treatment requires hospitalization.

External radiation therapy is also called as beam therapy. In external radiation therapy, a machine is used on the external side of the body for sending the high energy radiation into the body targeting the cancer cells. The patients affected by esophageal cancer receive the external beam radiation therapy as an out patient and treatment is given five times a week over a period of several weeks. It is also often used along with surgery or chemotherapy or in combination of both for treating esophageal cancer.

The main goal or aim of this radiation therapy is to destroy the malignant tumor cells. These cells when they stay even after the therapy may result in relapse of cancer inside the body. The schedule for radiation therapy can normally be for nearly five days in a week and lasts for about two to three weeks based on the objective of the treatment. It takes nearly about ten to fifteen minutes for each and every radiation therapy.

The combination of radiation therapy along with chemotherapy is considered to be a better option and is proved to produce good results when compared to the effectiveness when treated alone in the research conducted. The patients can have a survival rate of nearly 18 percent a year, 8 percent for a couple of years and less than 5 percent for the duration of 5 years when treated with radiation therapy.

Though this therapy can produce good results in patients, there are some side effects produced due to this. The side effects produced may be bleeding, infection, fatigue, inflammation in the lining of the esophagus, mouth and throat, mouth getting dry, skin irritation, stomach problems, pain while swallowing, loss of appetite, esophageal perforation along with fistula development etc.

But all these symptoms are manageable and temporary. Some long term side effects may also occur in some patients such as damage to the lungs, throat etc.

Natural Remedies:

There are certain natural remedies that offer a promising cure for esophageal cancer. Along with the natural remedies and a well-researched different diet pattern, a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle can make a huge difference to your efforts for prolonging the life for several years. You can increase your chances of surviving esophagus cancer now by trying these proven natural remedies discussed here

Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer

By: Ian Eallard
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