Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Like surgery, radiation therapy is local therapy. It affects cancer cells only in the treated area. Radiation therapy may be part of your treatment plan before surgery to shrink the tumor first, after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells, or for patients unable to undergo surgical treatment.
Radiation therapy for urethral cancers may be delivered in different ways, including:
- External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT): This is the most common method of delivering radiation for cancer treatment. Radiation is usually delivered in several ways, each with their own advantages.
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT): Allows different parts of the tumor and surrounding tissue to receive different doses of radiation. This reduces radiation damage to tissues near the tumor and improves effectiveness by increasing the dose of radiation delivered to the cancer.
- Internal Radiation or Brachytherapy: A small container of a radioactive substance is inserted into the affected area of the body. The patient stays in the hospital for several days during this treatment.