Essay about Radiation Therapy : What You Expect?
For most of us in the veterinary field radiation therapy is a mysterious treatment that occurs elsewhere, or it is a modality that a family member or friend underwent. However, because it is so effective in helping people with cancer and with the help of Dr. Google, our clients are asking more often about the ability to use this treatment in pets. For many of us, we really haven’t been trained on how to discuss this modality with clients. So for a brief overview, let’s go over some of the nuts and bolts of what clients can expect when using radiation therapy for their pet. A number of variables are used to decide if radiation therapy can benefit a patient and what course of radiation therapy is eventually prescribed. These variables can include expected outcome, tumor responsiveness, tumor location, presence of microscopic versus macroscopic disease, machine and software capability, and if concurrent or follow-up treatments are planned.
So what is radiation therapy and how does it work? At its most basic, radiation therapy involves repeatedly subjecting a tumor to a beam of high energy x-rays over a number of days or weeks. ((need a picture of patient in linac)
Radiation works by damaging the DNA of affected cells, leading to cell death. Because radiation is not selective about healthy or neoplastic cells, the goal is to target as many tumor cells as possible with this high energy radiation while avoiding damage to the normal…