Definition of medical terms used on the web.


A treatment based on the use of high doses of radiation or high energy particles to destroy cancer cells in an identified area. It may be used as a single therapy or be combined with chemotherapy or surgery. Side effects are limited to the area to be treated, though some patients experience general fatigue. The skin of the application site may be irritated, change in color or become very sensitive (radiodermatitis).

There are two basic types:
External beam radiation: It uses special machines to administer high doses of radiation to the area of tumor and a small amount of healthy tissue in the margins of this tumor.
Internal radiation: Also know as brachytherapy. It involves the implantation of radioactive material in the body in the site of the cancer. They may be small tubes, seeds, or capsules.