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Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells. Radiation is not used very often as a main treatment for small intestine cancer. It may be used:
The amount of radiation given during treatment, and when and how it is given, will be different for each person.
Small intestine cancer is usually treated with external beam radiation therapy. A machine directs radiation to the tumour and some of the surrounding tissue.
Some types of small intestine cancer, such as lymphomas, are very responsive to radiation therapy even at low doses. External beam radiation therapy may be used to treat this type of tumour. However, radiation therapy is not commonly used for treating other types of small intestine cancer. The small intestine is very sensitive to radiation therapy and the side effects associated with this treatment limit its usefulness.
Most often, radiation therapy is used to relieve pain or to control the symptoms of advanced small intestine cancer. It may be given to:
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.