Glossary Term:


radiation therapy


<b>ray</b>-dee-<b>A</b>-shun <b>ther</b>-uh-pee


Treatment with high-energy particles or rays to destroy or damage cancer cells. The radiation be given by a machine outside the body (external radiation) or by radioactive materials placed in the tumor (brachytherapy or internal radiation). Radiation therapy can be used to shrink the cancer before surgery, to kill any remaining cancer cells after surgery, or as the main treatment. It can also be used as palliative (non-curative) treatment for advanced cancer.