Radiation therapy is the use of ionizing radiation in the treatment of malignant tumors or cancers. Radiation can be administered in several different ways, the most common being through high energy x-rays.
A tumor is a growth or swelling on the surface of or inside the body. Tumors may be benign or malignant. Most benign tumors need only simple treatment which may include radiation therapy.
Malignant tumors can grow out of control and may spread within the body. They must be treated promptly to prevent further growth. Radiation therapy kills the cells of the tumor by preventing the from reproducing. The growth of the tumor can be slowed and in many cases completely stopped. Depending on the type of cancer, radiation therapy may be used alone or in combination with surgery, or drugs (chemotherapy).
View Froedtert Hospital's Radiation Therapy for Cancer Treatment site for more information