Radiation Therapy

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center Utilizes Advanced Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer Treatment

Radiation therapy uses high-dose X-rays to only kill cancer cells in the treated area. In general, University Hospitals physicians prescribe this form of treatment in conjunction with chemotherapy for patients with esophageal cancer. In some cases, radiation also may be used before or after surgery.

Forms of Radiation

At UH Seidman Cancer Center, we utilize various types of radiation in the treatment of cancer, including:

  • External radiation therapy: UH is the only hospital in Ohio to use CyberKnife®, a unique radiosurgery system that combines image guidance and computer-controlled robotics with superior accuracy for the treatment of cancer anywhere in the body. During this precise, painless procedure a large machine outside the patient’s body delivers beams of radiation to the cancerous tissue. Patients receive the treatment over a course of visits, typically on a daily basis for several weeks.

Radiation Therapy Side Effects

Since radiation therapy often damages healthy cells and tissues along with the cancer cells, side effects are common. They generally depend on the dosage and type of radiation.

Side effects may include:

  • Sore throat
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Red, dry or tender skin in the treated area
  • Hair loss around the treated area
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Damage to the lungs, heart or spinal cord

Patients should discuss any discomfort or bothersome side effects with their doctor or nurse who may be able to help by providing supportive medications or other treatments.

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