Medical imaging tests
X-rays and CT scans (which are a series of x-ray images) use ionizing radiation to produce images of body organs in order to diagnose disease or injury.
During a PET scan, a low-dose radioactive sugar is injected into the body and picked up by a scanner that turns it into 3-dimensional images.
Radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy)
Radiation for cancer treatment uses higher doses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. It works by damaging the cancer cells over and over again. The major use of radiation therapy is to shrink a tumour, but it can also be used in other ways to treat cancer. While radiation therapy is an effective treatment, the problem in the past has been that sometimes the person who’s been treated ends up with a different type of cancer 20 or 30 years later.
Radiation therapy today is very sophisticated. Significant advances have been made, and continue to be made, in how to deliver the radiation and how much to deliver. This means there is usually less damage to nearby healthy cells and reduces the frequency and severity of side effects.