What is palliative radiotherapy?
In addition to its curative aims, radiotherapy can have a palliative aim of improving the patient’s quality of life. Sometimes a full cure for cancer is no longer possible, but relieving symptoms makes the patient’s life more comfortable and eases the pain.
Amethyst doctors are here to help these patients, giving them all their support and using all their medical training to help them overcome the sometimes unbearable pain caused by this disease. They have the resources to develop a treatment plan with radiotherapy sessions that will make life easier for terminally ill patients.
Palliative radiotherapy treats specific problems caused by cancer, such as pain or bleeding. Reducing the size of the tumour implicitly leads to less pressure from the tumour on nearby organs (e.g. brain or spinal cord). Palliative radiotherapy is mainly important in advanced stages of disease. For palliative purposes, the patient receives lower doses than the doses given in curative treatment, usually over a shorter period of time.
For example, radiotherapy can relieve the pain often caused by secondary bone cancer. Irradiation of bone metastases relieves pain and strengthens supporting structures in an attempt to prevent pathological fractures. Brain metastases are often irradiated to reduce symptoms and prevent further neurological complications.
Palliative radiotherapy may also be used for the treatment of significant haemorrhage, refractory visceral pain and obstruction of vital organs. In general, the doses used for palliative treatment are lower than those used for curative therapy and result in less acute toxicity and discomfort for patients.
Indicators for the management of palliative radiotherapy
|o Pain in bone metastases;|
|o Painful lymphadenopathy;|
|o Pain caused when the cancer infiltrates the soft tissues;|
|o Neuropathic pain on nerve compression and nerve infiltration;|
|o Compression of the spinal cord;|
|o Brain metastases;|
|o Thoracic tumours;|
|o Upper airway obstruction;|
|o Lung collapse;|
o Improvement of hydronephrosis;
|o Improvement of hydronephrosis;|
|o Urinary retention;|
|o Intestinal obstruction;|
|o Bleeding in rectal or gynaecological cancers;|
|o Bleeding in skin cancers;|
|o Prevention of spinal cord compression; spinării;|
|o Prevention of pathological fractures;|
|o Prevent symptoms of pending pressure;|