JOSEPH NETTIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOSEPH NETTIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Woman about to undergo radiotherapy (radiation treatment) on a particle accelerator to treat breast cancer. Linear accelerators are used as a source for high-voltage x-rays, which have the ability to penetrate the skin to a greater depth and deliver a larger x-ray dose to the target area relative to the dose at the skin. Radiotherapy is frequently used to treat people suffering from a range of cancers, often combined with surgery or chemotherapy (drug treatments). Radiotherapy may be used to treat and destroy a primary cancer, but it is also used as a palliative in incurable cases; one example is in reducing pain from secondary bone cancers.
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