Radiation therapy (RT), also called radiotherapy, is commonly used to treat benign and malignant cancers and to help relieve certain cancer-related symptoms. Radiotherapy may be used alone or in addition to surgery or chemotherapy to stop or slow the growth of a tumor. Radiation is also used to treat cancers that migrate from another part of the body to the spine, which is called metastasis.
Radiation has been used as a form of cancer treatment therapy for nearly 100 years. By using targeted X-ray energy, other high-energy radiation sources or radioactive substances, clinical care teams can destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors.
There are different types of radiation therapy and different technologies used in radiation therapy. For the discussion of spinal tumors, we will focus on the types and technologies of radiation therapy that are most common and beneficial in treatment of these types of conditions.