eISSN: 2081-2833
ISSN: 2081-0016
Medycyna Paliatywna/Palliative Medicine
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3/2012
vol. 4
 
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abstract:
Review paper

The role of radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer patients in palliative care

Wojciech Leppert
,
Elżbieta Nowakowska

Medycyna Paliatywna 2012; 3: 122–136
Online publish date: 2012/11/28
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Radiotherapy is a local method of oncology treatment frequently used in advanced disease. Radiotherapy is usually associated with high efficacy in relieving distressing symptoms and at the same time mild intensity of adverse effects. In this article theoretical background of the treatment with the ionized radiation, the most frequent indications for irradiation in advanced cancer, taking into account different localisation of primary tumors and metastases and the most frequent adverse effects of radiotherapy are discussed. Attention was paid on the appropriate patients' recruitment for the irradiation that may improve patients' quality of life and prolong survival. The most frequent indications for palliative radiotherapy apart from painful bone metastases are as follows: oncology emergencies – superior vena cava syndrome and spinal cord compression, brain metastases, bleeding and cancer ulcerations. The use of high fractions and low total doses allows shortening treatment time limits the number of visits in radiotherapy units and decreases patients’ inconvenience associated with transportation.
keywords:

treatment, irradiation, palliative care, radiotherapy, advanced cancer

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