Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Susan Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Radiation Therapy Definition

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a conventional medical treatment that sends high-energy particles, usually photons or electrons, into tumors. These particles interact with the atoms in the DNA of the cancer cells and destroy them. This, in turn, destroys the cancer cells. Radiation also kills cells by increasing the amount of harmful free radicals within the cell. Healthy cells that fall in its path, especially rapidly multiplying cells such as those in the skin, can also be harmed. Dogs must be immobilized to receive radiation, so each session requires general anesthesia.

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