What do cancer, radiation, and technology have in common? The links between the three are quite extraordinary. Cancer is a disease that accounts for 13% of all deaths in the world (Delfino and Day 1). The disease has an impact on patients, friends and their love ones. According to WebMD, radiation is energy that travels in the form of waves through radiation therapy. Through radiation therapy, radiation is used to stop, slow or cure the growth of cancer. With technology, radiologists can treat cancer patients through radiation and special computerized imaging (WebMD).
Radiation is one of the main forms of energy (Pettigrew 1). In today’s environment we are only familiar with the basic types of radiation. These types are in the form of
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Sophisticated technology, such as IMRT and 3-D conformal radiation therapy allows radiation professionals to deliver doses of radiation for the cancer without damages healthy tissue cells (National Cancer Institute). Contemporary treatment-planning computers allow for the incorporation of 3-dimensional anatomic data to be used for planning of radiation fields (Schreiber). Using beam's-eye-view technology, the field of radiation can be planned so that the physician is assured that the radiation field adequately covers the target and spares or minimizes the dose to the nontarget healthy tissues (Schreiber). During a period of several decades after the German physicist Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen discovered x-rays in 1895, radiation evolved from a source of public fascination and scientific acclaim to a source of widespread public fear and scientific controversy (Walker 1). Shortly after Roentgen discovered radiographs in 1895, their clinical usefulness as a means of cancer treatment was first appreciated (Schreiber). Over the years, as the medical understanding and use of radiation has greatly increased, Radiation Therapy has developed into a sophisticated science. It must now be administered by doctors, called radiation Oncologists, who specialize in this mode of treatment (Sherry 163).
According to the National Cancer Institute, for most people with cancer, living with the