Crucial Facts to Learn Before Visiting a Radiation Oncologist in Singapore

Cancer occurs when healthy cells mutate and proliferate uncontrollably. One treatment course for many cancer patients is radiotherapy prescribed by a qualified radiation oncologist in Singapore. 

There are several forms of radiation treatment. Each works somewhat differently to eradicate cancer cells. Radiation treatment causes DNA damage in cells, causing them to cease growing or dying. Unlike other cancer therapies that impact the entire body, radiotherapy is often a local treatment, only affecting the area where cancer is present. 

Goals of Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy can be administered alone or as a multimodal treatment approach. An oncologist may include radiation therapy in breast, prostate or lung cancer treatment courses for patients in Singapore. The type and progression of cancer determine the kind and intensity of the radiation therapy for a patient. Here are the goals of radiation therapy.

#1 Primary Treatment

Doctors include radiation therapy in treatment plans to eradicate all cancer and prevent it from returning. Studies have shown that radiation therapy can be a valuable tool as a primary component for breast or prostate cancer treatment for patients in Singapore.

#2 Before Other Treatment Courses

Radiation therapy can also be beneficial as a supporting tool for other treatment routes. It can help decrease the size of a tumour before other treatment courses like surgery. It is a usual route for prostate or breast cancer treatment a qualified doctor in Singapore may plan for patients. They often refer to it as neoadjuvant radiation treatment.

#3 After Other Treatment Courses

Sometimes patients need to undergo emergency surgery to remove an obstructive tumour. However, most of the time, depending on various circumstances, some cancer cells can remain in the body. Hence, oncologists often recommend getting ​​radiation therapy after other treatments to kill any leftover cancer cells. It is known as adjuvant radiation treatment. The treatment course is commonplace for patients receiving lung cancer treatment at hospitals in Singapore.

#4 Symptom Relief

Sometimes a radiation oncologist in Singapore or abroad will recommend radiation therapy to address various cancer symptoms. Doctors refer to it as palliative radiation treatment.

Radiation treatment can also treat recurring and metastatic cancers. More than half of cancer patients will undergo some form of radiation treatment. Radiation therapy alone is a successful treatment for some malignancies. Other cancers benefit from a mix of therapy. Consult with a reputable radiation oncologist in Singapore to determine appropriate treatment routes.

How do doctors determine which type of radiation therapy is appropriate for their patients?

A radiation oncologist in and out of Singapore will not recommend radiation treatment to their patient without proper knowledge and thorough assessments. There is a set matrix they follow. Moreover, radiation treatment is part of two types: external beam and internal beam.

Various factors and criteria determine the type of radiation therapy a patient gets. They are:

  • Cancer type
  • Tumour dimensions
  • Tumour location
  • Tumour proximity to radiation-sensitive, healthy tissues
  • Overall health and medical background of a patient
  • The amount and degree of other cancer therapies
  • Age
  • Medical history

Doctors can use external beam radiation treatment as part of the treatment plan for many types of cancer. However, doctors commonly use brachytherapy to treat head, neck, breast, cervical, prostate, and eye cancers.

On the other hand, doctors use radioactive iodine or I-131 to treat some types of thyroid cancer, a systemic radiation therapy.

Furthermore, targeted radionuclide treatment is another form of systemic radiation therapy. Doctors use it to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer or gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (GEP-NET). The GEP-NET and prostate cancer treatment at hospitals in Singapore is known as molecular radiotherapy.

The quantity of radiation that a part of your body may safely receive throughout your lifetime is limited. Your radiation oncologist at the clinic in Singapore may not recommend radiation therapy in a specific area. It depends on how much radiation a region has already received. However, they may choose to treat another area of the body if the distance between the primary and adjacent portions is sufficiently close.

a-doctor-discussing-results-with-their-patient

Do patients need to undertake a special diet?

Radiation can induce nausea, mouth sores, and throat issues known as esophagitis. It can make eating challenging for patients. However, they must consume enough calories and protein to be healthy. Their bodies will expend tons of energy to heal as they receive radiation therapy. Consult your nurse or radiation oncologist in Singapore if you are experiencing challenges with eating and maintaining weight. You could also benefit from speaking with a dietician. They can help you receive all the nutrients you need for a more successful recovery.

Can a patient work after they receive radiation therapy?

The radiation oncologist at the facility in Singapore will recommend you rest. However, their productivity after each session varies from person to person. 

Some people can work full-time while undergoing radiation therapy. Others may be able to work only part-time or not at all. Your ability to work depends on how you feel. However, do not be shocked if you get more fatigued, have less energy, or feel weak as time passes. You may become too ill to work during your radiation therapy. Inquire with your nurse or radiation oncologist at the facility in Singapore about the type you will get to understand what you should expect.

Work Closely with Your Healthcare Team

Normal and malignant cells are both affected by radiation. It has negative consequences. The type of radiation and the treatment area can determine the side effects you might experience. Inquire with your treatment team about short- and long-term adverse side effects.

Many times, side effects do not appear until a few weeks during therapy. Inform your doctor straight once if you have any disadvantageous effects. It is critical to address them before they worsen. Most adverse effects go away once you stop using the medication. Some do not occur until several years following therapy. Inquire what you should do if they grow serious. Make sure you know what number to call if you have any queries or difficulties.

Consult with a Reputable Doctor

Dr Johann Tang is a recognised radiation oncologist at Mount Elizabeth in Singapore. He is an expert in cancer therapy. Pay him and his team a visit at his Mount Elizabeth Novena or Connexion Farrer Park radiation clinics after making an appointment. Explore their website to learn more about his, his team, and their services.

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