Depending on the type, location and stage of cancer, doctors may recommend radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of both. It is important to understand the differences between radiation oncology vs. chemotherapy so you know what to expect.

Radiation oncology therapy uses localized radiation to target and destroy cancerous cells. In other words, it only affects the area of the body that has cancer. Chemotherapy, however, works throughout the body.

What is radiation oncology?

Approximately 60 percent of people with cancer are treated with radiation at some point during their course of treatment. Getting radiation therapy is similar to getting a CT scan. A large machine will circle around you while you lay flat on a table. Radiation oncology uses high-energy particles or waves (similar to an x-ray) to treat cancer. Radiation damages the DNA of cancerous cells and stops them from dividing and spreading.

What is chemotherapy?

Each year, approximately 650,000 people receive chemotherapy treatments in an outpatient oncology clinic in the United States. Chemotherapy infuses one or more anticancer drugs into the vein (e.g., intravenously). The drugs can be administered directly into a vein in the arm or through a port (device) that has been surgically implanted in a vein located in your chest. There are also chemotherapy pills and capsules that may be required following treatment.

The board-certified oncologists at Regional Cancer Care Associates’ Central Jersey Division want to help you win your fight against cancer. Radiation oncology and chemotherapy are proven, highly successful ways to destroy cancer. Radiation oncology is either part of a multi-modality approach that includes chemotherapy or a solitary treatment. Our oncologists are ready to help you understand the difference between radiation oncology and chemotherapy and develop a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs.

For experienced, compassionate radiation oncology in Central Jersey, call 888-824-8312.

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