Over the past few years, the treatment of cancer using Radiation Oncology reached greater heights. About 60% of people diagnosed with cancer benefited from Radiation Oncology.
World over, there is ongoing research that aims to make Radiation Oncology more efficient and safer for cancer patients. The Cancer Research Foundation (CRF) has gathered together a group of scientists who are dedicated to reducing deaths caused by cancer to zero.
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In the last few years, the CRF has funded more than 180 researchers who are focusing on combating cancer through the advancement of equipment and cancer medication. As it stands, the research has been yielding positive results –this can be confirmed by a rapid decline in the cancer mortality rate.
What is Radiation Oncology?
Radiation Oncology refers to the use of high-energy waves of radiation to treat, cure or at least reduce the pain caused by cancer. Cancer treatment using Radiation Oncology is usually referred to as Radiation Therapy or Radiotherapy.
Radiation therapy is delivered in two ways: external-beam and internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy. The difference between the two methods is that external-beam delivers radiation waves using a machine outside the body, whereas treatment with internal radiation involves the placement of radioactive sources in the part of the body where the tumor is located.
The Cancer Care team that is responsible for delivering this kind of treatment consists of Radiation Oncologists, Medical Physicists, as well as Radiation Therapists.
When it comes to the type of radiation to use on a patient, Radiation Oncologists consider quite a number of factors to consider. As you may (or may not) know, there are more than 100 types of cancer, so the criteria used to choose the type of radiation to administer to a patient is based on the type of cancer that the patient is diagnosed with.
The factors used to consider the type of radiation to use varies from one hospital to the other, but generally, the Cancer Care Team usually considers the following factors:
- The tumor size
- The overall health of the patient.
- Age and medical history of the patient.
- The location of the tumor
- The proximity of the tumor to the normal body cells.
- Whether the patient will require a different type of cancer treatment.
Radiation Oncology can be used to treat cancer with other treatment methods. If used in conjunction with other treatment methods, Radiation Oncology can be done alongside surgery or Chemotherapy. Again, this depends on the type of cancer that one has.
When Radiotherapy is used in conjunction with other treatment methods, Radiation Oncology shrinks the cancer tumor so that the tumor becomes more manageable for other forms of treatment. Sometimes, your Cancer Care team may start by using radiosensitizer drugs that help radiotherapy to be more effective.
Yes, Radiation Oncology is effective in this battle against deadly cancer, but that doesn't mean that it has no side effects of its own making. Normal cells that are in close proximity to the cancer cells can be damaged by radiation waves.
State of Radiation Oncology in Turkey
According to this research, 100,000 Turkish patients are estimated to need radiotherapy each year. This figure is expected to reach around 170,000 by 2023. The same study concluded that By 2023, Turkey would need around 680 radiation oncologists, 624 medical physicists, 2,650 radiotherapy technicians, and 379 megavoltage machines.
Most Turkish hospitals have a Radiation Oncology department that aims to provide the best services to cancer patients through a multidisciplinary approach and experienced team. In fact, there is actually an association known as the Turkish Society for Radiation Oncology that focuses on improving patient care through education, clinical practice, the advancement of science.
At Acıbadem Hospitals Group, the Department of Radiation Oncology uses ionizing radiation in the treatment of cancer. Such hospitals also conduct various studies in their labs so as to examine the effects of radiation on cancer and tumoral behavior. Acıbadem Hospitals Group takes pride in utilizing advanced and modern technological methods of treating cancer. This hospital offers all types or Radiation Therapy.
Radiation Therapy Cost in Turkey
Just like in any other country, the cost of Radiation Therapy varies from one hospital to another. But on average, the cost of Radiation Therapy in Turkey is set around € 5.000. Of course, this depends on the type of cancer and the complexity of the surgery. This given price is just an estimate, and you can find that the price is less or more in some hospitals.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in November 2019.