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What is the full form of EBRT

EBRT: External Beam Radiation Therapy

EBRT stands for External Beam Radiation Therapy. It is the most common type of radiation therapy, used in the treatment of cancer. In this therapy, X-rays are delivered using a high-energy x-ray machine to a tumor to kill the cancer cells. Some advanced forms of external beam radiation therapy use other particles like electrons and protons to destroy cancer cells.

Fullform EBRT

It is a painless procedure just like X-ray and CT scan, there is no sensation of being treated during this therapy. When it is used to treat cancer, it is known as curative radiotherapy. When it is used to control the symptoms of cancer, it is called palliative radiotherapy.

EBRT is a non-invasive procedure in which a targeted radiation beam is delivered from outside the body to a tumor. The radiation beam is shaped before it reaches the affected area so that it can be carefully directed at tumor without affecting the surrounding tissues.

How does it work?

It delivers a high-energy radiation beam to tumors using an X-ray machine (a linear accelerator). This beam can be delivered from multiple angles and can also be shaped to the contour of the tumor. It damages the DNA of the cancer cells. It damages the DNA directly or creates free radicals to damage DNA. Once, DNA is damaged, the cancer cells stop growing or start to die. The body breaks down the dead cancer cells to get rid of waste substances.

Types of External Beam Radiation Therapy

There are different types of external beam radiotherapies, depending on the type of cancer and where it is in your body. Some common types are as follows:

  • Conformal radiation therapy: In this technique, the radiation beam is shaped to match the size or shape of the tumor. It helps to locate and treat a tumor more precisely, as a result of which the healthy cells around the tumor can be protected from damaging effects of the radiations.
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT): In this technique, the strength of the beam can be changed in certain areas as per the requirement of the treatment. The edges of the tumor are sculpted and the radiation beam is shaped to match the exact shape of the tumor. It is very precise so higher doses can be given without damaging the surrounding tissues.
  • Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT): In this technique, the images of the tumor are taken before starting the treatment. It provides information about the size, shape and location of the tumor. Thus, the radiation oncologist can adjust the position of the patient and focus the radiation as needed.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS): It is performed to treat small tumors with clear edges, particularly for the cancers in the brain and spine. In this treatment, a single high dose of radiation is used to treat the tumor.
  • Proton therapy: It is an advanced form of external beam radiation therapy as it uses proton beam instead of electrons or x-rays. It can deliver more radiation to the tumor without damaging the surrounding tissues.
  • Intraoperative radiotherapy: In this technique, the radiation beam is directly delivered to the tumor during surgery. It allows the doctor deliver a single large dose of radiation to the tumor and limit effects on the surrounding tissues.

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