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Palliative care is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms, rather than providing a cure. The goal is to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness.

Purpose of complex palliative radiation

Palliative radiation therapy is intended to reduce pain and improve the quality of life for patients in whom long-term cancer control is not possible. Such treatment is commonly used to improve symptoms by decreasing bleeding associated with cancer, pressure on nearby organs or structures, and pain associated with many forms of solid tumors. Radiation is usually combined with anti-inflammatory and pain medications to maximize the relief of cancer-related symptoms.

Cancer syndromes and symptoms that are treatable with radiation include:

  • painful bone metastases
  • brain metastases
  • spinal cord compression
  • superior vena cava syndrome
  • bleeding associated with stomach, esophageal, head, neck, bladder, and cervical cancers among others

How does palliative radiation therapy work?

Radiation therapy damages the DNA of cells in its path; malignant cells are less able to repair their DNA and therefore more likely than healthy ones to die. This procedure can be delivered by external beam radiation, brachytherapy, or radioactive drugs given intravenously or by mouth.

In some cases, palliative treatments may be used to alleviate the side effects of curative treatments, such as relieving the nausea associated with chemotherapy.

Palliative radiation treatments can be especially helpful for cancer patients who have:

  • A cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bones or brain.
  • A tumor that is pressing on the spinal cord and could affect the ability to walk or move.
  • A tumor that is making it hard to eat, breathe or have bowel movements.
  • Bleeding in the stomach, throat, bladder or other parts of the body.

Malignancies most commonly subjected to palliative XRT are lung cancer, bone metastases, brain metastases, advanced pelvic malignancies, lymph node metastases, and spinal cord metastases. Palliative XRT is an integral part of treatment of patients with lung cancer-related lesions causing atelectasis, post-obstructive pneumonia, shortness of breath, large airway obstruction, and pain.

Palliative radiation therapy treatment regimen

Many patients receive palliative radiation therapy 5 days a week for 1 to 3 weeks. However, some patients have fewer treatments or only 1 treatment. The procedures take a few minutes each and are not painful.

About two thirds of patients have moderate to significant improvement, and the effects can last for a few weeks to several months. Decrease in symptoms can occur as quickly as several days after the first treatment, or it may take a few weeks before improvement is seen.

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Healthbase, an award-winning* medical tourism facilitator in USA, is the trusted source for global medical and dental choices, connecting patients to leading healthcare facilities worldwide. We arrange a variety of medical tourism services from basic consultations to full service treatment abroad. We help you to take care of all your medical tourism details from arranging the surgery and financing options to visas, travel, lodging and tourism.

Healthbase caters to the needs of individual consumers, self-funded businesses, insurance carriers, benefit consultants, insurance agents, and third party administrators seeking affordable medical travel and dental travel options. Our state-of-the-art, easy to use, information rich web-based system makes it easy to coordinate international medical care including necessary travel and accommodation for patients and their companions, all at one place.

The cost of surgical care at our ever growing network of affiliated institutions is typically a fraction of the cost of care in the U.S. with equal or superior outcomes. Healthbase arranges first class services for patients at major internationally accredited hospitals in Thailand, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, Hungary, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Mexico, USA and is expanding to Canada, UK, Jordan,Taiwan, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, El Salvador and Guatemala.

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