Types of radiotherapy
Types of radiotherapy

There are different types of radiotherapy – the doctor decides which is the right one

External radiotherapy is the most popular form of radiation

External radiotherapy, which is also known as percutaneous therapy (percutaneous = through the skin), is one of the most common types of radiotherapy. Radiation is normally applied using a linear accelerator, with telecobalt devices also being used in certain cases. One disadvantage of this precursor to the linear accelerator is its limited flexibility in terms of both radiation and mobility. Modern linear accelerators either have a moving radiation unit, known as the gantry, or a moving treatment table – if both units can be adjusted, then the best possible radiation angle for all types of radiotherapy can be achieved. The Radiotherapy Patient System RPS offers a movable treatment table: The movement can even be adjusted with six degrees of freedom. This allows the treatment team to find the best possible position for the patients for all types of radiotherapy, while protecting healthy tissue and vital organs.

Internal radiotherapy: Brachytherapy and afterloading

One of the modern types of radiotherapy is brachytherapy. In this form of therapy, radioactive substances are inserted directly into the tumor or next to it in the body. What are known as ‘seeds’ are used. These are very small pieces of radioactive metal. The treating doctor places these particles directly in the tumor using a hollow needle. The radiation that is emitted by the seeds only radiates a few millimeters. They have a short half-life – once the radioactivity has decayed, the metal parts can simply remain in the body. Afterloading is one of the types of radiotherapy that has the strongest radiation impact on the body. This also involves placing loaded particles that emit radiation in the body. Because this form of radiation is considerably higher, they can only stay in the body for a few hours. Radiation via the skin can also be added alongside afterloading where necessary, thereby combining multiple types of radiotherapy.

The treatment team decides which types of radiotherapy are right for the patient. In this case, individual conditions are always taken into consideration, such as the type and location of the tumor and the patient him/herself. If you are unclear about any types of radiotherapy, please feel free to ask for more details. If you as the patient feel secure and trust your caregiver and the method, you will be able to fight your illness even better. And if you would like to know more about the Radiotherapy Patient System, then please send us an email to info@gkteso.de.