How Radiation Treatment Works

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation treatment is the delivery of high-energy X-rays, electrons or other sources of radiation to diseased cells and tissues — usually cancer. It can also be used to treat noncancerous conditions.

Radiation treatments can be administered externally, from outside the body (using machines to direct radiation from the environment into the body) or internally (by placing radioactive sources directly into body tissues or cavities, either temporarily or permanently).

Regardless of the radiation’s source, it damages or destroys rapidly dividing cells so they cannot grow, multiply or spread.

The leading-edge technology offered at Scripps Radiation Therapy Center and Scripps Proton Therapy Center minimizes damage to normal, healthy cells.

Although radiation treatment is commonly used as the primary technique for the treatment of cancer and noncancerous tumors, it can also be used in combination with other options including surgery, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy.

Radiation therapy can also help improve quality of life by relieving pain or other symptoms of cancer or other diseases and conditions.