Radiation vs Chemotherapy: Difference and Comparison

Cancer itself is a dangerous disease, the name of which raises goosebumps. If it is treated properly, it can make a big difference in life. Several treatments fight these cancer cells and stop them from spreading.

In most types of cancer, effective treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are used to treat cancer.

Both are different from each other, but their goal is the same.

Key Takeaways

  1. Radiation therapy targets cancer cells with high-energy particles or waves, causing localized damage to their DNA.
  2. Chemotherapy uses drugs to disrupt the growth and division of cancer cells throughout the body.
  3. Radiation therapy is used for localized tumors, while chemotherapy is more suitable for widespread or metastasized cancers.

Radiation vs Chemotherapy

Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells which is delivered using a linear accelerator or through radioactive implants. Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill cancer cells.

Radiation vs Chemotherapy
/10

Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

1 / 10

Galvanised iron sheets have a coating of

2 / 10

The element common to all acids is

3 / 10

Which of the gas is not known as green house gas?

4 / 10

Which is the type of food having maximum energy?

5 / 10

Which of the following organism breathes from skin?

6 / 10

The hardest substance available on earth is

7 / 10

Fermentation is the process of ______.

8 / 10

Name the veins that carry oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body?

9 / 10

What is the function of root hair cells?

10 / 10

Which of the following compound is mainly used in hand sanitizer?

Your score is

0%

Radiation is designed for cancer. It is mainly treated through beams.

The beam is then beamed over the tumour, causing a change in the makeup of the DNA. Doing so shrinks and destroys it.

This treatment is not as effective as it is limited to only one part of the body.

Chemotherapy is primarily designed to treat cancer. It helps in killing the growing cancer cells and prevents them from spreading.

This medicine is mainly taken by mouth or in addition, and it is given intravenously. Many different types of medicines come in this too, but it mainly depends on cancer and which type of cancer has happened.

Sometimes they also have side effects, and it depends on how your treatment is going.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparison RadiationChemotherapy
Definition    Radiation is a type of therapy used to treat cancer. In this, a beam is put on the tumor which is full of intense energy. This kills the cancer cells.Chemotherapy is primarily designed to treat cancer. It helps in killing the growing cancer cells and prevents them from spreading.
Intake    The beam is then beamed over the tumor causing a change in the makeup of the DNA. Doing so shrinks and destroys it. This medicine is mainly taken by mouth or in addition, it is given intravenously.
Side effects  It has fewer side effects like hair fall, fatigue, skin changes, etc.It has more side effects like anemia diarrhea, weakness, hair fall, fatigue, vomiting, etc.
Types     There are two types of radiation: internal and external.There are no types of chemotherapy. 
Painful    It is less painful. Chemotherapy is more painful because it can cause soars and throat more pain.

What is Radiation?

Radiation is a type of therapy used to treat cancer. In this, a beam is put on the tumour which is full of intense energy. This kills the cancer cells.

In this therapy, doctors always use X-rays, but other types of energy beams are used, such as protons.

The beam is then beamed over the tumour, causing a change in the makeup of the DNA. Doing so shrinks and destroys it.

This treatment is not as effective as it is limited to only one part of the body.

The term “radiation therapy” refers to external radiation therapy. In this type of therapy, high beam rays are entered into your body, which are emitted by a machine.

This beam targets only a certain area of ​​the body. This beam is placed into the body through a procedure called brachytherapy (brake-ee-theer-uh-pee), which enables it to kill cancer cells.

Radiation therapy mainly destroys DNA so that it stops it from spreading. Sometimes healthy cells are also destroyed by it, which comes with its side effects.

DNA works for cells to grow and divide, so it is necessary to destroy this control region.

The normal cells that are destroyed by them are so capable that they can repair themselves.

radiation therapy

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy, as the name suggests, is a type of therapy.  Primarily it is a type of treatment that has been designed for cancer. 

In chemotherapy treatment, medicines are given to the patient through the mouth, in addition to this, it is also given through the veins.

Cancer cells are destroyed through chemotherapy treatment.  This treatment also has side effects.

Chemotherapy is used for:

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the process of destroying a cancerous tumour with radiation therapy. The process of destroying the remaining cells is then called adjuvant chemotherapy.

In this treatment, it targets cells that divide rapidly and proliferate.

Chemotherapy works throughout the body. But its side effect is also that it destroys the skin, hair, intestine cells, etc. The treatment of chemotherapy is very effective, so doctors never recommend skipping it.

Although it has many side effects, it does not mean that it should be abandoned. For this, the doctor can change your schedule.

There is no certainty about the dosage of chemotherapy as lower doses will be less effective, and higher doses will show side effects.

In such a situation, the patient feels unbearable. The doctor chooses the prescribed time to give the chemotherapy dose and also gives its quantity according to the cancer and its condition.

chemotherapy

Main Differences Between Radiation and Chemotherapy

  1. Radiation is designed for cancer which is mainly treated through beams, while Chemotherapy is also primarily designed to treat cancer which is mainly taken by mouth or, in addition, it is given intravenously.
  2. In radiation, the beam is then beamed over the tumour, causing a change in the makeup of the DNA. Doing so shrinks and destroys it, whereas, in chemotherapy, the process of destroying the remaining cells is called adjuvant chemotherapy.
  3. There are two types of radiation: internal and external, while there are no types of chemotherapy.
  4. Radiation is less painful, while Chemotherapy is more painful because it can cause soars and throat more pain.
  5. Radiation has fewer side effects like hair fall, fatigue, skin changes, etc., whereas chemotherapy has more side effects like anaemia, diarrhoea, weakness, hair fall, fatigue, vomiting, etc.
Difference Between Radiation and Chemotherapy
References
  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamasurgery/article-abstract/591161
  2. https://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.1997.15.3.893
  3. https://europepmc.org/article/med/7028759

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!