The Pros And Cons Of Radiation Therapy

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Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is when radiation is directed at rapidly growing cancer cells, damaging DNA and chromosomes to kill cells (Rhine 17). It can be done with external beam radiation therapy, or by radioembolization. External beam radiation therapy is used to shrink liver tumors, but is used less frequently than tumor ablation and embolization. The treatment for radiation therapy lasts for only a few minutes, however, they are given for several weeks. Stereotactic body radiation therapy, or SBRT, uses a very focus beam of high dosage radiation over one or a couple of days, allowing for the radiation treatment to last a shorter amount of time instead of several weeks. The concentration of the radiation can not be too high, because liver cells that are not cancerous are highly susceptible to damage, and the radiation can not just target cancer cells. Radioembolization, on the other hand, is when radioactive beads are put into the hepatic artery near tumors, and emit radiation; this method is more common than SBRT. Radiation therapy’s side effects include nausea, fatigue, and skin changes (“Liver Cancer Survival Rates [...]¨).

Targeted therapy
Targeted therapy is very similar to chemotherapy in that anticancer drugs enter the bloodstream and destroy cancer cells. Usually, targeted therapy drugs are less severe than chemotherapeutic drugs. Chemotherapy has not shown to be effective in cases of HCC, so drugs used for targeted therapy have become a focal point of
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