Difference between Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy?

Difference between Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy

Radiation treatment uses high-energy ions or high-energy waves to destroy cancer cells. Cells expand and multiply in order to build new cells to replace cells lost to damage and ageing. Cancer cells replicate more than normal cells and lack the regulation present in normal cells. The high-energy particles (or waves) destroy cancer cells by causing disruption to their genetic material. DNA includes the data used to regulate the growth and division of cells.

Radiation is a concentrated treatment, the high energy beams are aimed directly at the cancer. Efforts are made to kill as many healthy cells as possible. Since this treatment is concentrated on a particular region of the body, it is not effective in treating cancers that may have spread to other areas. Radiation therapy is used to

  • early stage cancer cures or reductions,
  • prevent cancer from returning (recurrence),
  • Treat signs of advanced cancer, and treat returning cancer.

Chemotherapy involves using medications to cure cancer. Like radiation, which is used to treat cancer in a particular area of the body, Chemotherapy medications spread across the body. This is used to treat tumours that can’t be removed by surgery, cancers that have spread from the initial tumour to other areas of the body, and when doctors don’t know whether a cancer has spread or not. Like radiation therapy, Chemotherapy drugs target the division and operation of cancer cells to kill them.

Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, minimize how far a cancer spreads, and to minimize the discomfort caused by certain cancers. Since the drugs used in Chemotherapy affect both healthy cells and cancer cells, doctors must have a particular amount of drugs (calculated for each patient) to maintain a balance between cancer cells being destroyed and healthy cells covered.