Radiotherapy (radiation oncology) - Medical specialists

If electromagnetic radiation is able to remove electrons from atoms or molecules, i.e. if it can destroy cells - then radiotherapy is used. This is also referred to as radiation therapy or irradiation.

Positive, i.e. ionising radiation of particles is the foundation of medical radiotherapy. The good thing about it sounds like a contradiction: the radiation has a harmful effect on living cells, i.e. on tissue. It is high-dose radiation that damages the genetic material, both of healthy and diseased cells, i.e. cancer cells. However: the healthy cells survive the procedure and can repair the damage, but the cancer cells die.

Radiotherapy is divided into soft radiation (up to 100 kV), hard radiation (more than 100 kV) and megavolt therapy (more than 1000 kV). Soft radiation is used mainly for superficial tumors, while megavolt therapy is used for deep-seated tumors. In most cases, irradiation is used curatively - i.e. for healing. If it is only a matter of improving the quality of life or alleviating pain, irradiation is also used - in the case of incurable diseases, it is palliative. Irradiation is used alone or in combination with chemotherapy.

Which kind of radiation therapy is chosen depends on many factors, which is why the treatment regime is usually prepared jointly by experts from different disciplines. The most common tumors that are irradiated are breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer.

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Radiotherapy (radiation oncology) - Further information

In a search for specialists in radiotherapy/radio-oncology you will find medical experts in the radio-oncologic treatment of cancer disease. You have cancer and want a radiotherapy specialist with particular expertise? We will help you find an experienced specialist in radiation therapy.

After surgery and chemotherapy, radiation therapy is one of the three most important pillars of cancer therapy. However, ionising radiation by a specialist in radiation therapy is used not only in the treatment of cancer (and in a palliative way) but also for the treatment of benign tumours. Actual therapy must follow a complex planning process. Not every cancer or every type of cell of cancer can be treated with radiation therapy.

The principle of radiation therapy is that ionising rays destroy malignant cells much more intensively than benign ones. Radiation therapy is only used locally, so that at most unwanted side effects occur only in the irradiated area. These days it is largely possible to spare healthy tissue.

Radiation therapy should be administered by an experienced specialist for radiation therapy/radio-oncology or radiology (radiation therapy was only differentiated in this way in the 1980s). An expert in radiation therapy has completed five years of postgraduate training after completing his medical studies.

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