Radiotherapy and radiology are both vital to the cancer treatment process. It is easy for patients to confuse the role that radiotherapy and radiology play in the cancer treatment process. Although radiotherapy and radiology may sound similar, each serves a different and very important purpose in oncology.In the past year there were over 4,700 google searches related to radiology, and 1200 google searches related to better defining radiology. People in New Zealand and Australia made up the largest population of individuals googling topics associated with radiology. There were over 4300 google searches associated with radiotherapy over the past year, and over 770 google searches related to defining radiotherapy. People in the United Kingdom and Ireland were the most likely to google teams related to radiotherapy.
What is radiology?
Radiology (or diagnostic imaging) is a series of tests that take pictures or images of parts of the body. The primary specializations of radiology are diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology. Both use radiant energy to diagnose and treat diseases. Diagnostic radiology involves undertaking a range of imaging procedures to obtain images of the inside of the body. Once the images are obtained, the diagnostic radiologist interprets the images to diagnose illness and injury. Interventional radiology is image-guided surgery. Interventional radiologists use diagnostic imaging tools to guide their procedures. Most interventional procedures favor minimally invasive options.
Why is radiology Important?
Radiology is central to disease management. Radiology is crucial to medical care today, helping with monitoring treatment and can even help with predicting specific outcomes. Radiology originated with advancements in X-Rays. X-Rays use imaging to see inside the body, diagnose broken bones, diagnose diseases, and much more. Along with X-Rays, radiology uses other imaging tools including: CT, MRI, Fluoroscopy, and Angiotherapy. The imaging tools have many uses, from assisting in real-time imaging of the digestive system, to providing 2D and 3D maps of the tissue within the body, and much more. Without these technologies, it would be very difficult for physicians to diagnose many of the common diseases today.
What is radiotherapy?
Radiation therapy is a treatment that uses high doses of targeted energy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy most often uses X-rays, but protons or other types of energy also can be used. The primary types of radiotherapy are external beam radiation therapy (EBT) and internal radiation therapy (brachytherapy).
- EBTis the most commonly known form of radiotherapy. During the EBT process, high-energy beams come from a machine outside of the patients’ body. The beams are then aimed at a precise point on a patient’s body.
- During brachytherapy, radiation is placed inside of the patient’s body. The primary goal of radiotherapy is to control the growth of the tumor, while minimising exposure to any healthy tissue in the surrounding area.
Why is radiotherapy important?
Radiotherapy contributes to 40% of all cancer cures world-wide as well as improving the quality of life for many others. Radiotherapy is considered to be a highly effective treatment for many common cancers, and in some cases, radiotherapy can be used as the main curative treatment. This in turn helps patients avoid the risks of surgery and the removal of organs. For some cancers that are too advanced radiotherapy can reduce symptoms caused by cancer. For example, pain in the bones from the spread of cancer can be improved significantly or be completely removed in around 75% of patients. Radiotherapy is an evermore common solution in oncology departments to treat cancer. 4 out of every 10 cancer cures include radiotherapy as part of the treatment plan, and the number of radiation-treated cancer survivors is projected to reach 4.17 million by 2030 Ultimately, the goals of radiotherapy are to safely:
- Destroy or prevent cancerous tumors from spreading
- Reduce the risk of cancer returning
Bringing AI to radiotherapy treatment and cancer care
MVision AI is a Helsinki-based pioneer of guideline-based, AI-driven auto-segmentation services for radiotherapy. MVision has been grounded in the automated support of various parts of the radiotherapy clinical workflow, streamlining cancer treatment planning and helping clinicians by automating manual tasks. This in turn, saves valuable time and improves treatment quality, while remaining guideline compliant. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and information, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.
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“The Difference Between Radiology and Radiation Therapy.” Cancer Treatment Centers of America, 11 June 2021, www.cancercenter.com/community/blog/2018/08/whats-the-difference-radiology-and-radiation-therapy.
“What Is the Difference Between Diagnostic, Therapeutic and Interventional Radiology?” Revere Health, reverehealth.com/live-better/what-is-the-difference-between-diagnostic-therapeutic-and-interventional-radiology/.