Cancer: We Live and Die by Radiation

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MoBeta Publishing, 2006 - Health & Fitness - 273 pages
This is a book about radiation oncology, a study of cancer and the role radiation plays in its development, diagnosis, and treatment. This book explores radiation as both a killer and a healer by introducing the reader to the effect of radiation on the body and the way radiation is harnessed to both diagnose and destroy cancer.After introducing the tools used for diagnosis and treatment, a brief explanation is given on how cancer is measured using staging and statistics. Who gets cancer and the risk factors for each particular cancer are briefly described with comparisons made between the United States, Canada, Japan, and the U.K. Cancers are then individually described and grouped somewhat arbitrarily by body site and function.The discussions of each cancer include summaries of key trials and recent studies of modern treatment options by stage focusing on the efficacy of radiotherapy and its associated risks with comparisons to alternative therapies such as surgery and chemotherapy. Each chapter concludes with practical evaluations of the “best treatment” with an emphasis on quality of life. The use of radiation for palliation and treating other diseases is also described.This work is written with the patient, the family, the friends, and the caregivers in mind for the purpose of providing a quick reference for making informed choices. Knowledge of science is not necessary as concepts are defined in simple terms and easy access is provided for important information such as cancer staging, cancer statistics, radiography and radiotherapy tools, radiotherapy techniques, and radionuclides used in brachytherapy. For those interested in further research, references to original works are included. The book includes a glossary and an appendix.
 

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Contents

One Once Upon a Time
1
Three Radiography
12
Four Kill or Be Killed
33
Five A Big Problem with Cancer
47
Six Cancerous Tissues
61
Seven Genital System Cancers
86
Eight Urinary System Cancers
115
Nine Chest and Abdomen Cancers
124
Ten Head and Neck Cancers
139
Eleven Digestive System Cancers
163
Twelve Benign Tumors and Other Maladies
186
Appendix
195
Bibliography
213
Index
259
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About the author (2006)

The authors are former research scientists who collectively spent nearly three decades working at Varian Medical Systems, a publicly traded corporation where they invented implantable radioactive medical devices and novel X-ray tube technologies. After Varian they founded a research and development start-up company that marketed a new brachytherapy source to treat restenosis and other diseases. Since then the authors have been struggling with their own recurring basal cell carcinomas as two of America's medically uninsured.

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