Radiotherapy uses pulses of radiation to destroy cancer cells. It works by damaging the cancer cells’ ability to grow and multiply; it attacks the DNA within the cells that control these functions. When the cancer cells die, the body naturally eliminates them16.
Unlike systemic chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells wherever they are throughout the body, radiation only kills cancer cells at which it is aimed. It does not treat any cancer cells that may have spread elsewhere16.
Radiotherapy may be offered to surgically unfit patients, unresectable lung tumor due to its size and location, or patients who declined surgery17. In some cases, this may be combined with chemotherapy. For small cell lung cancer (SCLC), radiotherapy is often used in combination with chemotherapy18.
For more information on other treatment types, please click here.