Radiotherapy for Lung Cancer

Radiotherapy for Lung CancerRadiotherapy for lung cancer uses x-rays to kill cancer cells. It is one of the common treatments used in lung cancer. It may also be given as a part of combined treatment with surgery or chemotherapy. Generally, radiotherapy is given from outside the chest by directing x-rays to the required area. In some cases, radiotherapy can also be given by putting a small amount of radiation directly inside the lung.

During the treatment, the patient lies on the examination table and a radiation therapy machine targets the chest area. The radiation therapist ensures that it is correctly placed and the session takes about 10-20 minutes.

The three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy 3D-CRT uses special computer programs to map the location of tumor. It makes it less likely to damage the normal cells and tissues.

In Intensity Modulated radiation therapy, the radiation therapist utilizes a computer-driven machine to move around the patient. It aims at the tumor from several angles to cure the treatment preciously.

Radiation therapy is delivered depending on the type and severity of lung cancer. Palliative radiation treatment usually involves 1 to 10 treatments and the course includes somewhere between 20-33 treatments which are spread over 4-6 weeks.


Radiotherapy is used to treat early stage as well as stages I-III of lung cancer. It is used as palliative treatment to treat cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It

Side Effects

Side effects from radiation therapy vary from person to person depending on the type of treatment and the general fitness of the patient.

The common side effects involved with radiotherapy include shortness of breath and cough, fatigue, skin changes and difficulty in swallowing. The therapy may cause inflammation of the lungs. One may feel tired after radiation therapy. Tiredness can last for a number of weeks and patients should take it easy and take proper rest.

The information shared here is for educational purposes only.

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