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There are also a variety of other tricks to make the treatment more accurate, such as aiming the beams from a number of angles so that they can closely shape the tumour, or switching up their intensity.

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Sexclub chat - Does radioactive dating work for gases

Rather than relying on a degree of guesswork like in the very early days of radiotherapy, today doctors take very detailed images of patients’ tumours and their surroundings using techniques like CT or MRI scans.

This helps doctors plan the treatment very precisely in 3D, so the tumour bears the brunt of the blow while its neighbouring healthy tissues are spared as much as possible.

Any harm to healthy tissues is a potential risk though and can lead to side effects.

Reducing this risk is crucial to making the treatment kinder for patients, and why modern radiotherapy techniques aim to minimise this collateral damage while also maximising the dose that the tumour gets.

The radioactive iodine is given as a drink or in a pill and is then taken up by the thyroid cancer cells, but not healthy cells, and hence has few side effects.

This is known as radioactive liquid therapy and is one of two main types of internal radiotherapy.

The other, called brachytherapy, involves placing a radioactive implant next to the tumour, such as tiny metal pellets or wires.

Although internal radiotherapy works well for certain cancers, external radiotherapy is the most common type used.

Beams of radiation both enter and exit the body through healthy tissue, and tiny movements by the patient and even breathing can put the tumour slightly off target, leading to side effects from damaged healthy tissue.

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