Health Watch - Fighting Cancer: Radiation Therapy

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about victories in the battle against cancer. When surgery isn’t an option for patients with lung cancer, a new way of delivering radiation therapy can destroy tumors and improve survival rates.

Surgery to remove the tumor is usually the first plan of attack in fighting lung cancer, but some patients are too frail to go through surgery, due to other medical conditions.

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center have had success in treating these patients with radiation therapy. This procedure aims multiple beams of radiation at the tumor. Each beam is relatively weak, but when they all converge, they deliver a strong dose of radiation.

Dr. Robert Timmerman, a UT Southwestern radiation oncologist, says a study showed the treatment was more successful than conventional radiation therapy and was as effective in the frail patients as surgery is in healthy patients.

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April 2010


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