Before thinking about types of radiotherapy treatment you should know that this is a kind of therapy that uses radiation, just as the name suggests to kill cancer cells or to shrink tumors.
In case of cancer treatment, gamma rays, X-rays and charged particles are used during radiation therapy.
External radiotherapy treatment types
In the majority of the cases this kind of treatment is offered in the shape of photon beams. This is a unit of light. You could think of it as an energy bundle. The energy amount found in it can vary.
The photons of gamma rays are the highest in energy. Usually women receive this kind of therapy on a daily basis for weeks.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy
This one of the kinds of radiotherapy treatment is also known as IMRT and it uses small devices known as collimator s to offer a dose of radiation.
These collimator can stay in one place or move during the treatment. This way the radiation intensity also varies. As a result the tumor and the surrounding tissues receive varying doses of radiation.
This one of the types of radiotherapy treatment is different from the others because it is reverse planned.
In this case the oncologist chooses the doses that will be delivered to the different parts of the tumor and the surrounding tissue. Then a computer calculates the angles and the number of beams needed.
In case of other radiotherapy treatment kinds, the oncologist chooses the beams’ number and angles and the computers calculate the dose that will be delivered to the tumor and to the tissues. The main point of the treatment is to offer more radiation to the places that need them the most and less radiation to the surrounding tissues.
The advantage of this particular example of different types of radiotherapy treatment is that it has fewer possible side effects. It doesn’t damage the salivary glands for example. However in this case there is more tissue exposed to radiation. At the moment it isn’t known whether the technology is more effective than the other ones.
This is another one of the different methods of radiation therapy. During the therapy there are several imaging scans taken, such as MRI, CT and PET. Computers process these images in order to measure the changes of the size of the tumor and the changes of location as a result of the treatment.
This one of the types of radiotherapy treatment makes it possible to position the patients and to adjust the radiation dose according to the needs. Since the imaging is repeated, the accuracy of the treatment is increased. Also the normal tissues will receive less radiation.
This is one of the IMRT radiation therapy methods. The machine is a combination of the beam radiation therapy equipment and CT scan.
As you can see there are different kinds of types of radiotherapy treatment available at the moment and they are used based on the type of cancer that you have.