A Guide to Good Health

Important Questions To Ask When Receiving Radiology Care

Whenever you are receiving cancer treatment, you will need to be informed about the potential benefits and side effects. Radiology care can be very effective at treating various forms of cancer, but also causes damage to other cells in the body. However, under some circumstances, it is a form of treatment that will give you the best possible outcome.

Ask About Why You Need Radiation Therapy

The purpose of radiation therapy is to use a high level of energy to shrink or kill cancer cells. It's important to understand how your radiation therapy will work because there are different ways to use radiation to treat cancer such as systemic and external radiation therapy.

It's important to ask whether the radiation therapy is meant to be curative, palliative, or is meant to be debulking. A curative treatment is intended to kill the tumor with the goal of ultimately curing you of your cancer. Debulking is meant to reduce the size of the tumor. Palliative care does not intend to eliminate the tumor but instead is meant to reduce pain associated with the tumor and may be a part of end-of-life care.

Find Out If You Need to Make Lifestyle Changes

Make sure to ask about any lifestyle changes that will be necessary when you undergo your radiation therapy. For example, there might be certain foods you will want to avoid during your treatment. Ask about whether you will be able to continue with your daily activities. Your radiologist will inform you of how your radiation therapy will affect you and may provide advice on how to best cope with the side effects.

Ask About What You Can Expect

Ask about how long it might take for you to see results and how long the radiation therapy will need to be. In some cases, you may need to receive radiation therapy every day. Ask about what time of the day you will receive radiation therapy and whether you will be able to work while undergoing your treatments. Some clinics can be very flexible.

Find Out What Comes Next After Radiation Therapy

Once the treatment has been completed, you'll need to ask about the next steps you should follow if your treatment does not work. Usually, diagnostic tests will be performed to determine if the cancer can still be detected. The technicians might not be able to detect your cancer anymore or your cancer might go into remission. Regardless, when informed, you'll be able to make better decisions regarding your cancer.

To learn more, contact a radiology clinic in your area such as Elkview General Hospital.