Radiation Oncology And Advancements In Cancer Research By Timbo John

By: mauvine jezzel


As breakthroughs in medicines are discovered every day and preventions, treatments and cures become available for 100s of diseases, cancer remains the number 2 cause of death for men and women in the USA behind heart disease.

This doesn't mean that cancer research is void of major breakthroughs or that it isn't coming along as fast as advancements in other fields. It indicates that while new treatment technologies, such as radiation therapy are being developed and researched, they aren't being accomplished at the same rate as cardiovascular, influenza and diabetes disease treatment and preventions.

A problem with cancer treatment that it is hard to find prevention techniques, to some degree. While doctors and scientists have learned that asbestos,tobacco and other carcinogens can cause the disease; there are no strict guidelines that can guarantee a person will not get cancer.

Some people have even argued that cancer is not a disease, but a "condition" and that, while avoiding tobacco and cancer causing agents can help, there is really nothing that can be done to reduce your chances of developing cancer beyond that.

Radiation Oncology -- Advanced Treatments

Even though the diagnosed cases of cancer aren't reducing in numbers as some may of expected, the number of deaths per diagnosed case has taken a dramatic fall in the past few years. As a matter of fact, since 1993 the mortality rate of cancer has dropped, and a report by the New York Times states that in 2007, 12,000 fewer cancer patients died than did in 1993. Also stated in the article is that much of the progress comes from "early detection and treatment of some of the leading causes of cancer death -- lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate tumors."

One area in which the most improvement has come is radiation therapy. Radiation Therapy is the process of treating cancerous tumors via radiation. Radiation Oncology, the practice of physicians who use radiation therapy, involves dozens of different specialized treatment methods, which implement highly sophisticated technologies and equipment to deliver precise beams of radiation to the affected area without coming into contact with the surrounding tissues. A radiation oncologist can use a multitude of specific radiation therapy methods, only a couple of which are IMRT, or Intense Modulated Radiation Therapy, and TomoTherapy - each of which has its advantages and both of which are effective for issuing precise doses of radiation.

Only a radiation oncologist can help you decide exactly which form of radiation therapy might work best for a particular type of cancer, but overall advancements in radiation oncology gives new hope to cancer patients across the world. As science continues to develop new tools and treatment methods, society can inch closer to a world that is cancer-free.

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