Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays, gamma rays or particles to kill cancer cells. It can be administered in various embodiments, when the treatment of cancer of the larynx (throat) in Israel .
Irradiation in this disease is used as a main (primary) method of therapy at early stages of cancer of the larynx. If a small tumor, often cope with it without surgical intervention . This treatment will keep the patient in the future it.
Radiation therapy may be indicated when the patient's state of health does not involve surgical treatment, there are contraindications for this.
Irradiation is performed after surgery as an adjuvant therapy for elimination of the remaining cancer cells and prevent disease recurrence.
Radiation therapy as palliative therapy to relieve symptoms operate advanced stages of cancer - pain, bleeding, difficulty swallowing, and the propagation of metastases in the bone.
Often irradiation with throat cancer administered together with chemotherapy. This combination is more effective, but at the same time have more side effects.
Types of radiation therapy for cancer of the larynx in the Assuta
There are two basic types of radiotherapy: internal and external.
External-beam radiation therapy for throat cancer
This type of exposure is the most common in the treatment of cancer of the throat. ionizing radiation source is outside the human body and is focused on the tumor.
Before therapy in Assuta hospital count field irradiation of laryngeal cancer and the dose. The procedure itself is similar to the X-ray, but with a stronger light. It is painless and lasts a few minutes, even though the preparation process typically takes longer.
Smoking during radiation therapy throat cancer worsens the results, so you need to start treatment to give it up completely. This habit increases the risk of recurrence after treatment, as well as the likelihood of developing another type of cancer, so the failure - it is the best strategy in order to survive.
Radiation therapy is usually carried out 5 days a week for about seven weeks. There are other schemes:
- Hyperfractionation means a mode in which the place of one high total doses given, for example, two smaller volume. These parts are harmless to healthy tissue, but are harmful to cancerous. This method is also called convection-fractional radiotherapy.
- Accelerated fractionation means that the exposure of laryngeal cancer is completed quickly (six weeks instead of seven, for example).
These two schemes can reduce the risk of recurrence and increase life expectancy in some patients. The disadvantage is that they tend to have more serious side effects.
Modern technology helps doctors more accurately to produce the radiation focus, evidenced by the following options for external beam radiation therapy.
Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) : 3D-the CRT uses the results of diagnostic MRI and special computers to determine the exact location of the tumor. Forming a three-dimensional area of irradiation, which seeks to replicate the zone malignancy, to reduce the radiation dose to healthy tissue. Radiation beams are directed at the tumor from different directions, each ray is pretty weak to damage healthy tissue, but focusing on the tumor, they provide a high dose of radiation. This is possible thanks to the fact that the linear accelerator equipped with a multileaf collimator.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is advanced by modern high-precision radiotherapy by computerized linear accelerators, delivering a specific radiation dose to the malignancy, or to any segment within it. Depending on the results computed tomography radiation modulated in intensity.
This method specifies a dose of radiation, directing it to a certain area of the tumor. Before therapy is performed CT scans, accurately defining the shape and contours of the malignancy, as well as its relation to surrounding tissue.
IMRT radiation splits the beam into several beams and adjusts the intensity of each individual. This method is the most common method of irradiation with throat cancer.
Internal radiation therapy for throat cancer - brachytherapy
This type of radiotherapy using a radioactive material, placing it directly into the tumor or into the zone around it. Brachytherapy may designate separately or in combination with external irradiation. In rare cases it is used to treat cancer of the larynx.
Side effects of radiation therapy for throat cancer
Many people who have received radiation to the neck and throat, there are painful sores in the mouth and throat, which can significantly impede the meal and liquid. This, in turn, will lead to malnutrition and weight loss. Ulcers heal within a certain time after the end of treatment, but in some people with swallowing problems persist long after the end of therapy.
Other negative effects of radiation therapy may include:
- Problems with skin in the area where the treatment: from redness to blistering and peeling.
- Dry mouth.
- Strengthening hoarse.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Loss of taste.
- Difficulty breathing due to swelling of the larynx.
Most of these adverse effects disappear within a short time. However, they tend to increase, if irradiation is performed in conjunction with chemotherapy.
This type of treatment can affect the health of the teeth, worsening existing problems. Depending on the circuit radiotherapy and condition of the teeth, some or all of them may be removed before treatment.
Radiation therapy directed at the region of the head and neck can damage salivary glands, causing dry mouth, and does not improve with time. In addition to the discomfort and problems with swallowing, dryness can cause tooth decay. Therefore, you should pay special attention to oral health.
If the irradiation is used as the primary method of treatment for laryngeal cancer, very rarely it can cause the destruction of the cartilage in the throat. If this happens, most likely, there will be a need for tracheostomy or laryngectomy.