Radiation therapy for vaginal cancer
World leaders in new approaches to radiation therapy.
When vaginal cancer has spread, or metastasized, radiation therapy may be used. It may also be used to destroy any cancer cells that remain after surgery.
Radiation therapy damages the DNA of cancer cells so the cells stop growing and die. It may take weeks of treatment before the cancer cells begin dying. After radiation ends, the cancer cells may continue dying for months. The dead cells are broken down and eliminated from the body.
Types of radiation therapy for vaginal cancer
Henry Ford is a world leader in new approaches to radiation therapy and the fast-developing field of radiosurgery, a type of radiation that uses precise, advanced technology to deliver higher doses of radiation in fewer sessions.
Options for radiation therapy for vaginal cancer include:
- External beam radiation therapy is a painless procedure, similar to getting an x-ray. For cancer, strong radiation is focused on the tumor site for a few minutes. Depending on the stage of cancer, a single session of high-dose radiation may be given, or multiple sessions of lower doses may be prescribed. This type of radiation may be given before surgery to shrink the tumor.
- Internal radiation, called intracavitary brachytherapy, this treatment involves placing a device with radioactive seeds inside the uterus and aiming the radiation beams at the cancer cells. The treatment is used to provide higher doses of radiation for a shorter time. The radiation mainly affects the tissue near the device, and it causes fewer side effects in the bladder and bowel.
Your radiation oncologist will explain how your radiation therapy treatment will work and exactly what to expect during your appointment.