Will Radiation Therapy for Colon Cancer Damage My Organs?

The radiation therapy for colon cancer treatment process explained.

radiation therapy for colon cancerWhile it is a very natural concern for patients to be concerned that radiation therapy for colon cancer might damage their organs during treatment, it is also important for them to understand all the meticulous planning that takes place prior to the start of radiation therapy.

Doctors have been treating cancers with radiation for nearly 100 years.  Prior to starting radiation treatment, doctors will obtain a treatment planning CT scan, which is CT scan of the area to be treated. In the case of colon cancer, it will mostly be the abdominal cavity.  We have the patient in a certain position, the position that they will be treated on a daily basis. Doctors will then map those organs and find a way to maximize radiation dose to the  intended  area and minimize dose to those organs that are of concern. Dr. Murty explains further in the video below:

Murali G. Murty MD:  In order to protect their organs, it is important for patients to understand all the meticulous planning that takes place prior to the start of radiation therapy. So that’s a very natural concern to be concerned that radiation might damage your organs while we treat.

We have over a 100+ years of treating cancers with radiation.  Prior to starting radiation treatment, we obtain a treatment planning CT scan which is CT scan of the area that we want to treat.  In this case mostly the abdominal cavity.  We have the patient in a certain position, the position that they will be treated on a daily basis.

We will then get a CT scan and then I will personally look at that CT scan and identify the area that I want to treat.  I will also look at that surrounding organs that I want to protect from radiation such as the liver, it could be the lung, small bowel or even other parts of the colon.

I will meticulously draw out those organs and find a way to maximize radiation dose to the area intended and minimize dose to those organs that are of concern to you and me, so we are basically limiting the treatment dose to the surrounding organs while maximizing dose to the intended region.

Dr. Murali Murty
Dr. Murty received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry - New Jersey Medical school. He completed his internship in internal medicine and residency in radiation oncology at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia where he served as Chief Resident. He has done research and published on the radiotherapeutic treatment of squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck of unknown origin and total mesorectal excision of rectal cancers. His publications also include a book chapter on the radiation of vascular tumors of the ocular fundus.


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