Radiotherapy is a common treatment option for almost all types of cancer. It makes use of high energy rays, which is used to kill cancer cells. If the cancer is in its early stages, a radiotherapy can completely get rid of cancer. Non small cell lung cancer may have a radiotherapy on its own or along with another surgery or chemotherapy. In the cases of small cell lung cancer, radiotherapy may be used after or along chemotherapy. The tumor in the lung will shrink with a chemotherapy. The result can be improved with radiotherapy. If the condition is very severe, the main goal of radiotherapy will be to shrink the tumor and control cancer for some time. It may also help in reducing the symptoms.
Before going for a radiotherapy, the doctor may suggest for breathing tests. If the treatment goal is to reduce the symptoms, a breathing test won’t be necessary. Radiotherapy can be external or internal. Most of the time, radiotherapy for lung cancer is external. The treatment plan will defer according to the type and stage of the condition. It may require 20-36 treatments if the treatment goal is to cure the lung cancer. The internal radiotherapy is also known as endobronchial therapy or brachytherapy. Internal therapy is usually carried out during the time of a bronchoscopy. During an internal therapy, the doctor will put a narrow tube containing radiation source inside the airway. This will be useful to shrink the tumor.
The doctor will plan before administering the therapy. He/she may suggest for MRI or PET scans. A planning CT scan is a part of the procedure. After the planning session, it may take a few days or around two weeks get to the therapy. The radiographer will explain the procedure and how will it feel during and after the procedure. The treatment will be carried out with the help of advanced computers and devices.