Why use Radiation?
Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumor because of its ability to control cell growth. Ionizing radiation works by damaging the DNA of exposed tissue, furthermore, it is believed that cancerous cells may be more susceptible to death by this process as many have turned off their DNA repair machinery during the process of becoming cancerous.
How is the healthy tissue not effective?
To spare normal tissues (such as skin or organs which radiation must pass through in order to treat the tumor), shaped radiation beams are aimed from several angles of exposure to intersect at the tumor, providing a much larger absorbed dose there than in the surrounding, healthy tissue.
It is also common to combine radiation therapy with surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, Immunotherapy or some mixture of the four.
Since radiation uses many random beams to target the cancerous site it is important to make sure everything is all lined up so that you do not fry the wrong part of your body.
They do an initial 4..yes four hour scan to monitor your breathing so that the radiation laser will move along with your breathing motion to enable be accuracy at the treatment site.
This is what my chest has looked like for the past four weeks...and I am glad to be able to wash it all clean come this Friday after my last treatment.
There are a couple of picture of me laying on the radiation machine. It is all very very precise and takes about 10 minutes to line your body up with the machine before they can start treatment to double check everything is lined up.
All together I received multiple treatments to my right and left lung as well as the are surrounding my left diaphragm.
That is the update as for the radiation. I went pretty quick and brief so if any of you have any more questions feel free to write, e-mail, text, tweet, facebook me and I would love to answer them! (For realz I love answer to questions.)
Needle Pokes for round 3: 17
Pills: 85 (This number will be skyrocketing due to the heart juices. the numbers of pills I take a day increased from 6 to 17)
Netflix: Finished all six seasons of The Office