RADIOACTIVITY.EU.COM

icon THE PHENOMENON

THE PHENOMENON

icon IN DAILY LIFE

IN DAILY LIFE

icon QUESTION OF DOSES

QUESTION OF DOSES

icon AT THE DOCTOR’S

AT THE DOCTOR’S

icon At the laboratory

At the laboratory

icon At the museum

At the museum

icon NUCLEAR ENERGY

NUCLEAR ENERGY

icon RADIOACTIVE WASTE

RADIOACTIVE WASTE

The aim of this web site is to explain radioactivity and its applications to the general public.

Modern radiation therapies

Radiation therapy, i.e. all techniques for treating cancer by irradiation, is used today for nearly one out of two patients. It is part of the therapeutic strategies to fight cancer, along with chemotherapy and surgery.

Radiation therapy is nowadays more and more associated with imaging techniques, which allow to direct the rays towards the targets to be treated. The therapies can be external or internal.

 

External radiotherapy

Radiation therapy is said to be external when the radiation source is located outside the patient. The vast majority of radiotherapy today are external, using X-rays (photons) or electrons. In some very special cases, where tumors are located near critical organs that are sensitive to radiation, it is also possible to use other types of radiation such as protons (proton therapy) or ions (hadrontherapy).

External radiotherapy

Internal radiotherapy

Some techniques use an internal source of radiation, obtained by fixing radioactive emitters to or near a tumour. The oldest technique, which dates back to the time of Pierre and Marie Curie, is brachytherapy.

Technological advances

Radiotherapy uses the latest technological advances, both in terms of the machines used for irradiation and the computer software used to pre-calculate the patient's treatment. Several steps are necessary to achieve an optimal distribution of radiation in the tumour, while trying to spare the surrounding healthy tissue as much as possible.

Technological advances