By learning more about the most advanced screening,

diagnostics and treatment options for colorectal cancers, patients can overcome fear—the number one obstacle that prevents individuals from seeking early care.

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Treatment types—Radiation Therapy

External radiation

Also known as external beam therapy, this treatment precisely sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. The machine is controlled by the radiation therapist. Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors, special shields may be used to protect the tissue surrounding the treatment area.

Internal radiation

Internal radiation is given inside the body as close to the cancer as possible. These treatments also are called brachytherapy or implant radiation.

  • Radioisotopes—substances that produce radiation—are swallowed, injected, or implanted directly into the tumor.
  • Some of the radioactive implants are called “seeds” or “capsules.”
  • Internal radiation involves giving a higher dose of radiation in a shorter time span than with external radiation.
  • Some internal radiation treatments stay in the body temporarily. Others stay in the body permanently, but the radioactive substance loses its radiation within a short period of time.

In some cases, both internal and external radiation therapies are used.

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