Radiotherapy either before or after surgery is indicated for all except the earliest stages of rectal cancer to produce the best chance of cancer control.
IMRT, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy, is delivered after total or partial resection of many primary malignant brain cancers, such as anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme, to try to sterilize residual microscopic disease. Radiotherapy is also used in the commonly seen secondary brain cancers that started elsewhere, as in lung or breast cancer, before metastasizing to the brain.
Radiation treatments, perhaps just a single treatment in one day, can usually control pain and prevent fractures in metastatic cancers involving the skeletal system.
If a hip fracture secondary to cancer involvement of the bone is surgically repaired, radiotherapy after the surgery can prevent recurrence of cancer in that area and provide a better chance of walking again after the surgery.
Radiation therapy for basal cell or squamous cell cancers of the skin, or precancerous Bowen's disease of the skin, is about 90% effective for surgically sensitive areas of the nose, lips, eyelids and ears. Radiotherapy is also effective in controlling skin cancers too extensive for simple surgical control. The Athens Cancer Center uses a specifically designed superficial x-ray machine to provide a superior dose distribution for skin cancers without requiring bolus material over the cancer to enhance the skin dose.
Many people with pancreas cancer are referred for radiotherapy, often combined with chemotherapy, to attempt to prevent recurrence or control symptoms.
Uterus and Cervix Cancer:
In locally advanced cancers, surgery followed by radiotherapy provides the best chance of local control. In cervical cancers too advanced for complete surgical resection, radiotherapy combined with radiosensitizing chemotherapy may control the cancer. When detected at an early stage, cancers of the uterus and uterine cervix may be treated with surgery only.
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