What is Concurrent Chemo-Radiation?
Chemotherapy (also known as cytotoxic drugs) is the name given to drugs that kill cancer cells.
Radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) is the name given to the high-energy X-rays that are used to kill cancer cells.
When drugs (chemotherapy) and X-rays (radiation therapy) are given at the same time to treat your cancer, this is called concurrent chemo-radiation therapy.
Why do you need Concurrent Chemo-Radiation?
Concurrent chemo-radiation therapy is used to treat tumours that are in one of the organs of the body (i.e. lung or liver). These tumours are also called solid tumours. The aim of chemo-radiation treatment is to kill the tumour cells while protecting the healthy tissues of the organ. This treatment is also intended to prevent the disease spreading to other parts of your body.
Concurrent chemo-radiation therapy is also used to treat the invisible spread of cancer cells. The cancer cells that spread to other parts of the body are called ‘malignant’ cells. This therapy is often given after surgery to improve the chance of curing your cancer.