What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation therapy (RT), also called radiotherapy, is a common type of treatment for brain cancer. Radiotherapy uses high doses of radiation – such as those from X-rays, gamma rays or other particles to stop or slow the growth of brain metastases. This is different from low-dose radiation, which is used in radiology for imaging with tools like CT and low-dose X-ray.

Radiation plays an important role in managing cancer in general, and brain metastases in particular. Radiotherapy uses special equipment to send targeted prescribed treatment to the cancer cells with the goal to either damage or destroy these cells in a non-invasive way. The level of damage to the cancer cells is related to the amount of radiation the cells are given. There are different types of radiotherapy that deliver different amounts of radiation, which are all designed to cause damage to the DNA inside the cancer cells and keep them from multiplying.